Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Clothes I Run In

Yesterday: Rest day
Today: 7 miles at 8:36 pace

I had a great run this morning.  Almost didn't get up to do it, because I was feeling very sleepy at 6am.  But, I told myself I would be disappointed taking two rest days in a row and pushed myself out the door.  I'm glad I did!  Weather was great, nice and cool.  I ran east over the I-35 overpass and got on the dirt trails near the new Mueller Development.  About two years ago, a big chunk of land east of I-35 was purchased and converted into upscale apartments, condos and houses.  The developers also put in a pond, jogging paths, and a dog park.  The trails were easy on my legs and I was pleased with the run!  I'd like to do a track workout tomorrow, so I'm hoping to wake up rested and ready to go.  The only thing that might change that is tonight's flag football game.  Hopefully I won't get too battered, as flag football is not supposed to be a contact game, but lately I've been feeling sore afterwards.

Today's topic is running clothing, i.e. what I wear when I run.  Although the summer days in Texas are brutal and I might be tempted to head out in the buff, I always run clothed.  Over the years I have developed a fondness for certain items and wardrobe, like many things, has become routine.  Clothing for me varies depending on the weather, so today I will discuss my warmer weather garb.  I'll save winter running for a later post!

So let's start from the bottom; I already mentioned what shoes I use in a previous post.  For socks, I like low cut cotton.  I'm not partial to a particular brand, but I have a lot of NB socks simply because I picked them up at the outlet store.

I strongly prefer running shorts to running pants, and will usually continue to wear shorts until the temperature drops below 40F.  I like thin, nylon shorts with a relatively high cut on the leg.  I have a couple of pairs of NB, as well as Champion, Reebok and Under Armour.  While I'm not brand picky, I do look for shorts that come with some sort of small "key pocket".  This is especially useful when you have to run with a house or car key, although tying it into a shoelace is another viable alternative.  Key pockets are most often sewn into the front inside of a pair of shorts.  I have also found shorts with small pockets built into the back exterior of the shorts.  These pockets are usually larger and can carry fun things like proximity cards and gels.

As a female runner, I of course wear a sports bra.  This is perhaps the trickiest part of apparel because not all sports bras are created equal!  I consistently get unpleasant chafing from ill-fitting sports bras and thus have tried many brands and styles.  I personally cannot wear NB, Reebok and some style of Nike running bras.  The best fits for me are Champion, Adidas and Gracie's Gear.  I wear both tank bras (which cover the stomach) and traditional sports bras, depending on the temperature and my mood.  The Gracie's Gear sports bra is my favorite, it has a large zipper pocket built into the top front, making it an ideal choice for a long run or other occasion where you have a lot of "stuff."  The material is also very comfortable and most importantly, I have no chafing, even on long runs!  I highly recommend checking it out if you have sports bra woes.
Gracie's Gear Tank Bra
I get pretty warm while running, so unless the temperature is below about 60F or I'm feeling particularly modest, that is all the clothing I am wearing.  In the 50s and 40s, I add a top layer.  I have lots of lightweight wicking t-shirts, mostly from races, that are very functional.  However, my favorite running outfit on a cool day includes a long sleeve cotton t-shirt.  I know all you endurance sport junkies are hating on the cotton right now, but I don't care.  Cotton is comfy and soft when I need to wipe sweat off my face or my nose is runny.  Also, all through high school I trained in cotton shirts, so it is familiar and nostalgic for me.  So don't hate the cotton!  On long runs or days below 40F, I am smart enough to don high-tech fabrics.

Most of my runs are in the morning when its either dark or the sun isn't particularly strong.  I usually pass on sunglasses or a hat.  I do have both, however, and sometimes they strike my fancy.  I have a nice pair of sporty Bolle sunglasses that wrap around my face and don't usually get foggy.  

As for hats, I have three baseball caps.  The first is a navy, 2001 Boston Marathon hat.  Many of you probably realize that there is no way I was old enough to run a marathon in 2001 and you would be correct.  It was given to me by my track coach who did run that race.  He used to wear it all the time and I told him one day that it was a great hat.  He took it off his head and offered it to me!!!  I have treasured it ever since.  Now that I've run two Bostons, I feel very proud wearing the hat.  My second hat is a Boston Red Sox hat, given to me by my father.  He bought it for my birthday in 2008 before I moved to Austin so "I would remember where I came from."  There is, of course, no town like Boston and no team like the Sox and I am proud to wear this hat wherever I go :)  The last hat is a white, mesh Brooks running hat that I got this past Spring.  I won it for placing 3rd in one of the Rogue Trail 10k races.  While it is probably the most sporty of the hats and best in the hot weather, it lacks sentiment and therefore doesn't get as much use.

Well now you know what I will wearing on my runs and hopefully you can spot me as I go by!  I would love to hear what other people are wearing out there, so leave me a comment or two!  I better finish this up so I can get ready for some flag football :)

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