Running Fashion Tips
Tom, I tried to let it go - but I can't. You threw out that comment about your "outfit" for Chicago and I can't resist the urge to give you some advice. After all you give me very helpful coaching on my running on a daily basis (seriously - very appreciated!), so the least I can do is try to repay the debt and offer you some fashion tips.
You have worked with me for 10 years, so you know I am no glam girl, but I do have some sense when it comes to running fashion saavy. Here are my personal rules that have made me into the sweet vision of a runner I am today. (Oh, stop your laughing...) These have helped me pick out my outfits for all my big races, hope they help you to!
1. If you can cross the line, anything is fine. (Say it with some attitude!) If you want to wear green shorts and a red shirt or maybe break out the only striped/polka dotted singlet in the universe. Go ahead - people may be laughing at your clothes but they will bow to your times.
2. If it bounces, bobs or flops, go ahead and cover it up and leave the rest to our imagination. As I get older and chubbier, this rule has taken on new meaning. I just wish a few more runners and triathletes would take it to heart.
3. Spandex - use its powers for good only. I have never seen you in spandex or tight lycra so you may be able to pass over this little nugget of advice. It's good for controlling chub rub and holding us together, but it isn't and shouldn't be used for a bold fashion statement. Although I have noticed that athletes in spandex seem to have a high level of confidence and charisma - so maybe there is something magical in that shiny texture. To all runners out there, if you must indulge in the stretchy, god given fabric, do so responsibly and recognize the limitations of its stretchy powers. And if you want a good laugh, you must check out the post on spandex by the fat triathlete. I know, I know, you don't have time to read another link out there - but indulge - it really makes me giggle.
4. Mix and match colors liberally but not smells. With all this training, it's hard to keep up on laundry for all the running gear, but this is an important rule for those last few big training runs. If it is clean it matches. If it's dirty - it's dirty - wash it. Just like the rule about mixing batteries will kill your electronics, don't mix clean and dirty running stuff.
5. Comfort is first and fashion is last. You know the rules, wear the most comfortable, proven clothing that have been loyal to you in those 20+ mile runs. No one cares if that shirt is from 5 years ago or those shorts have logged a few hundred miles and are so 2004 - it just doesn't matter. It is too bad you are a guy 'cause the running skirts are so cute and so comfy - but Vanilla liked them, so maybe??? The only exceptions to this rule are no legwarmers and no double polos - that is just wrong.
6. There is nothing wrong with being half naked. Just 'cause you are standing around with a few thousand people you don't know in less than some people wear as PJ's - not to worry - they are too. Not sure this tip will work for you but I always paint my nails bright red. I hope it lures the eye away from my chub and they think, wow, that chic has got it together, look she even has her nails painted. I am hopeful that the pleasant picture of the nails helps them choke back their disgust at all my bare skin.
There you are. You now know all my running fashion secrets. You too can be fashionable as you line up in Chicago.
And hey, be careful out there and dress responsibly. Know your limits.
(PS...If you can't tell by his posts and picture, Tom is a well put together guy who knows more about running than I will ever forget or hope to learn. He hasn't posted about his weight lately - but he is definitely close to his "fighting" weight and is one of those runners who look completely natural in a singlet and running shorts. He needs these tips like I need to a day without cookies. But how else could I repay my personal running coach who keeps me from making stupid decisions about my running.)