No, it's not the clothes that make a runner. Really, who cares what anybody else is wearing? It's not like there's a uniform. Used to be you’d say all you need is a pair of running shoes but that's not even true anymore. I loved the latest issue of Runners World and their Fastinista article and I found it intriguing that so many women were in an uproar over it. As if what you wear determines whether or not you are a serious runner. Guess what? I'm serious about running. I mean, hello? I hired a running coach!
And I wear skirts! There I said it. And you know what? I'm proud to say it.
Sure all I need is a running bra (things aren't as perky as they used to be and need support), a shirt or tank, shorts (probably compression because again, things aren't as perky as they used to be), socks, and shoes. And I would be happy with that. But some people have ton of shoes (Choose or running) and some people have a ton of purses or whatever it is they collect. I happen to collect running attire.
Here's how I look at it: picking what I'm going to wear to run helps me get in the right mind set for my run.
On Tuesday, I got to do 8x1’ intervals @ 7:45 pace. I was going to wear a plain black skirt and at the last minute decided to wear my pink, plaid skirt. Why? Because I wanted to be strong on the run and the plaid reminds me of Highland Warriors. I felt like I was dressing for battle and it put me in the mind set to run hard and I did those intervals @ a 7:30 pace!
Yesterday's run was supposed to be easy so I put on a blue skirt that I like a lot. It's a little more snug than my others and it tends to ride up if I push too hard or if my stride lengthens but it's fine if I go easy. So I put that skirt on and it reminded me not to go hard.
On Saturday, I will wear my Athleta skirt for my 19 miler. It has 5 pockets! 2 in the front, 3 in the back (one zippered). It's my long run skirt and I when I put that on, I know I'm going to be running for a while. I can store food, my id, money, S-Caps, keys and still have room for things I start with but don't need as it gets lighter/warmer (gloves, running light, etc.). It makes me feel prepared and ready for anything out there. It's my adventure skirt. Kind of like Indy's Fedora. When he puts that his hat on, you know fun is about to happen. Same with my skirt!
Color works the same way for me. When I ran those back-to-back half marathons in April, I consciously chose to wear black & white the first day (the planned buy-the-book easy long run) and orange on Sunday (the day I raced and won!) because orange is a fast color (red is too!) and I wanted to give my body/mind the okay sign to run fast. For me, green is a lucky color and that's what I plan to wear a green top and socks for the Santa Rosa Marathon when I go for my 4 hour goal.
Most of the time though, I choose wild colors when I want to be seen. Whether it's by cars (I have an outfit that's green & pink that I call my watermelon outfit…no car is going to miss seeing me in that!) or spectators. I learned during the Lost Dutchman Marathon that your outfit can get you a lot of attention and a lot of support that you might not have had otherwise. When you are at mile 24 or 25 and starting to drag, that extra cheering goes a long way!
One of my coworkers told me today that they recognize me on my morning runs in the dark by my outfits. So be it! I’d rather be me and have my own style then look like one of the crowd. I don't wear cycling club kits because I don’t want to look like everyone else, so why do it on the run?
So yeah, I wear skirts! I wear pink! I wear whatever I think will help me get the most out of the run I have planned for the day. It doesn't mean I'm taking my runs any less seriously than someone in a shirt and shorts. It just means I want to have fun. Isn't that why we run in the first place?