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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 Fashion_statementsome 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.

Picture from a great post on existential dilemmas

(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.)

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Comments

Maggie

Oh my, is that picture for real? I love the white socks in the dress shoes...that's so early 80s and 1st grade and white trash...

About about the polka-dotted singlet--at least you'd be easy to pick out in all the pictures!!!!

August

I love it. We should post pics of ourselves in some of our running gear. I have yet to know what I'll be wearing as cold sets in as this will be my first running winter.

SOrry I haven't been reading. I miss your guys posts but as usual, just been so busy.

Danielle in Iowa

I think the reason it took me so long to get into triathlon was fear of the spandex. I don't know at what point I started prancing around in full body spandex like it ain't no thang. Then I see photos of myself from triathlons and think "#$%$^!"

runwitme

Hi! My motto is - If you're not good at running, at least try to look good running!

Check out my running attire here:

http://runwitme.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html

Tom

Amy, thanks for the great advice. You caught me in the nick of time before making some of these mistakes.

My hope for today is my kids don't read this post and comment...

Jamie

Very funny and informative post! You definitely see all kinds of interesting outfits at races! Some racers also need to read your rule on not mixing clean and dirty :)

bill carter

Amy
As usual, you did not let me down. I was both laughing and choking on some pita chips as I read your post. I have seen some pretty good race outfits....I've probably even beeen guilty of wearing some that would make a designer's eyes burn. In regard to the "older and chubbier", I just don't buy it. We runners just get "wiser and LESS emaciated as we age..kind of like a fine wine.

Oh you did it again...I just re-read your post and choked on spandex and "chub rub". Good stuff Amy, good stuff.
Regards,
Bill

Nancy

Oh Amy, you crack me up. I can only imagine working with you guys every day. I would add to the painted nails -- LIPSTICK. If you see a runner with bright red lipstick, THAT is what you would be talking about. So much better than, "Geez, did you see her rolls?" or "My gosh, she's slow. Do you think she THINKS she's actually running?"

Amy

Oh yes - that picture is real. I read it on her site and laughed so hard. I thought I was a crappy dresser but I feel so much better with myself.

Danielle - I am so with you on the TRI wear. It is amazing how we just used to running around in spandex. I have a no camera's allowed rule for my family and friends.

Bill - My new favorite phase is "less emaciated". That is a keeper.

Bella

OMG! I've never laughed so hard over a post or posts for this matter, read that 'spandex' by the tri dude too! Hilarious! And that picture...can't believe it.

I feel some relief, I don't think I'm a bad dresser because i tend to go with comfy keeping in mind of the potential style/color clash.

Elizabeth

I'm absolutely cracking up, Amy, thanks for the best laugh I've had all week - and also thanks for the link to the spandex post! :-)

smalltownRN

Question...and I guess I couldn't have asked this at a better time.....hats while running ..yes or no....our heads I know release heat...so keeping a hat on keeps it in...but what about the sweat factor...when you are sweating what do you use...I wear my ball cap...somedays I wish I hadn't....what do you think?

cyberpenguin

LOVE your blog! It's so hilarious, that I almost fell off my chair while laughing so hard! ;-)

Thanks again for leaving such nice comments on my blog. BTW, I'm now a subscriber of your site; thanks for the laughs & sage advice!

Sincerely,
-C

cyberpenguin

Amy,
I've got a "Rockin' Blogger Girl" award for you, so stop by my blog, http://seecoreyrun.blogspot.com, & pick up your award when you get the chance!
Congrats!
-C

Bob

OK... There are some things you just can't unsee. That picture is going to haunt me...

A few responses to your thoughts...
1. You can cross the line, just don't "cross the line". Two guys running in St. Paddy's day green thongs and nothing else seemed really funny... then it snowed... (true story)
2. If you can't cover it up... at least strap it down. It scares us.
3. And if you must cross over to the dark side... run at night... we don't want to see it
4. Or if you do, please have the decency to run off the back of the pack... you makes our eyes water.
5. See rules 1 through 4
6. This all depends on which half...

Great post!

Dina

Hi smalltown RN! I have the same dilema! I like to have a hat on sometimes to keep the sun out of my eyes (I wear contacts so that I don't have to wear my glasses while I'm running!) But then I get even more hot and sweat even more! I do wear one of those "airy" while running hats, but it's still hot! Sorry I don't have any advice, but thought you might like to know you're not alone!

Database Diva

Great post Amy. I've been puzzling over the outfit question. I have more shoes & clothes than Barbie, but nobody has ever asked me what I'm going to wear to a race. I don't think anyone asks this guy either. http://seedivarun.com/photos/mardigras2007/nsm.jpg
He's a Marathon Maniac, but he doesn't wear the singlet. I've seen him in a couple of races. In New Orleans he actually stopped so I could take his picture. One of the race directors wrote him a letter and asked him to please wear regular running shorts if he decides to do their race again.

Tom, I'm sure that whatever you wear, you will look fit & fast ;)

Amy

On the hat issue - great question. I am a sweater so no hot for me in the summer. I do a head wrap in the winter until it drops below 20 or colder, then the hat feels good.

Amy

Bob - as always - fabulous contributions. I need to be more careful in thinking through and writing down my advice. I clearly hadn't thought thru #6. "Which half" is a great point!

Database Diva - holy cow - we need to add a warning to that picture. I snorted Diet Coke through my nose as I opened that one up. He may be in violation of a few of my rules.

Andria

Hysterical! I love the part about the painted nails. My answer is lipstick - my grandmother would always wear it and felt put together with color on her lips. Probably wouldn't work with running though... I'll have to get some bright red for my marathon! Hahaha!

Laura Catherine

Amy,
This entry made me laugh outloud! I would like to say though that my mother might suggest that running half naked is not ok. Just ask my father (Tom). Keep up the good work!

JCap

I do the same thing-bright pink nails before races! I think it makes me go faster, but then again I'm a spandex devotee so who knows how my brain operates.

JCap

I do the same thing-bright pink nails before races! I think it makes me go faster, but then again I'm a spandex devotee so who knows how my brain operates.

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