Looking back at the past 2 years it’s amazing how much I’ve changed as a runner. I’m no longer trying to convince myself to go out and get it over with… instead, I’m trying to find ways to squeeze runs into an already packed schedule. I started with one pair of boring, white, no-name sneakers – which were not designed for running and probably cost about $13 at WalMart – and now I own two pairs of brightly colored running Asics. I used to struggle to run a mile, and now I have a 13.1 sticker on my car – and I ran the whole thing! Parts of me are no longer as mushy… or as dimply… or as hard to hide behind my clothes. And I’ve been much, much happier since I began.
My running apparel has also changed considerably since I started running. I used to watch people running in my neighborhood, and noticed that there were no set “rules” to ideal running attire like there are in other sports. People ran in tank tops, T-shirts, and sports bras. There were pants, baggy shorts, and spandex. Some wore sweatbands, some didn’t. Some wore sunglasses and some didn’t. Some people looked like running was an opportunity to make a fashion statement, while others looked like they had just rolled out of bed in their sweats, threw on a pair of sneakers, and headed out the door.
When I first started out, I knew two things for sure:
- I was not confident enough to show any part of my jiggly skin while running down the street.
- I am no fashionista.
So, my first running ensemble looked like this:
Baggy pants, baggy T-shirt, no-name sneaks. I ran in that for a few months while I built up the stamina to actually run a full mile. Once I could, I started to realize that my choice in attire was probably contributing to my struggle to improve.
So I went out and bought some new pieces to run in. And now when I ran, I looked like this:
My T-shirts became more fitted and were now V-neck (which I love – I really can’t stand normal T-shirts). My baggy pants became loose-fitting shorts. And -gasp- I bought my first pair of name-brand running shoes.
As I increased my distance, I began to see problems with my V-necks and shorts. The shirts just felt thick, making me hotter. And for a girl who loves tank tops it really just felt like too much fabric. The shorts would ride up, making the whole experience uncomfortable and embarrassing.
So, I transformed into this:
Snug-fitting pants and a snug-fitting v-neck top. And yes, this is where I evolved into something resembling a running fashionista. But only in the sense that my outfit actually matched… I really didn’t care too much about looking cute, but it was mint green and I couldn’t resist.
And that’s pretty much where I’m at right now. I’ve since added a new pair of Asics and a knee brace, but otherwise that’s what I run in. I have experimented with one other new look though…
When I got into running longer distances, the tops that I’d bought in the same style as the mint tank started to chafe my underarms pretty badly. I kept seeing the motivational tank at Old Navy, and I decided to see if a sports bra and loose tank would help prevent the chafing. So far it seems to be working, so I’ll invest in some more of those soon.
Here are some other things I’ve added to my runs over time:
- Knee brace
- Body Glide for Her – anti-chafing stick
- Thorlos socks
- Roo Pouch – for my cell phone, key, etc.
Maybe one day I’ll gain the courage to run in spandex-y shorts, or actual running shorts, but I’m not quite there yet. I am considering a visor though – that sun is CRAZY bright!