A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Runner's New Clothes

Comic from Another Comic

Last night was my Monday 2-miler (on the treadmill) and I don't really have anything unusual to report. Actually, I should say that it was the first time in a LONG time that I ran two days in a row. I don't typically run two days in a row but later in my training schedule I have to, so I figured this wouldn't (or shouldn't) kill me. It didn't. In fact, I was able to finish at 5.6 MPH. Also, one commercial-free episode of How I Met Your Mother is almost the exact same length time-wise as it takes me to run 2 miles so I think I've found my new Monday night treadmill show.

But you're probably wondering what the previous paragraph has to do with laundry. Or nakedness. Or both. Okay, I'll tell you.

Last night, as I was changing into my running clothes, I had to empty almost my entire work-out-wear drawer in order to find a sports bra. Apparently all the rest of my sports bras were in the dirty laundry pile. Okay, that's not entirely true. All my non-cotton sports bras were in the dirty laundry pile. As were almost all of my running shorts. And most of my running socks.

See, years ago, back before I started running, I bought a ton of sports bras from Target. I just bought the cotton ones that had some elastic and spandex in them. But they were overwhelmingly cotton. As for my gym shorts, they consisted of random boxer or pajama shorts I got on clearance at Target, a few pairs of cotton pull-on shorts, and one pair of cotton/polyester blend work-out shorts my mom bought me as a gift. Most of my tops were cheap cotton tank-tops or the occasional fitted cotton t-shirt. These served me fine for years. In fact, I still have all of them in my work-out-wear drawer.

But when I joined the Beginning Women's Running Group we had a long discussion about cotton. The consensus from the seasoned runners? Cotton is rotten! It holds onto your sweat, doesn't help cool you off, and can cause serious chaffing issues. What you need is sweat-wicking materials. In other words, man-made materials like polyester. So, off I went to Target to buy some new sports bras and see what they had on clearance clothes-wise. And get new socks, too, of course. It occurred to me that if I was going to be running more than once a week I was going to need more than the one non-cotton outfit I had. And I'd definitely need better socks! One of my clearance finds was a pair of shorts with built in underwear. I'd never thought about wearing these (in fact, they sort of weirded me out) but they were cheap so I bought them.

Guess who can't go back to running in shorts with separate underwear? I've tried it. I hate it. I also no longer particularly like the feel of my cotton sports bras while running. For awhile I used the workout clothes I deemed unacceptable for running for just regular gym trips. Exercise class, elliptical, strength training. Those were fine for the cotton stuff and the regular shorts. Except, slowly, I'm beginning to dislike wearing that stuff to sweat in at all. Which means that I wear my running clothes more often. Which means I run out of running clothes more often than usual.

In addition to cotton is rotten, the other clothing-related information I retained was something one of the group's speakers said. "The older I get," she exclaimed, "the less clothing I want to wear while running." I'm beginning to understand what she meant.

Have I decided to run naked?

No, I haven't. Although that WOULD cut down on having to do laundry more often or having to shell out more money for yet more clothes. What it means is that the longer I consider myself a runner the shorter I want my shorts to be. I don't think you'll ever find me in those shorts that are little more than full-coverage underwear, but you won't find me in five-inch inseam shorts either.

Where you will find me for the time being is doing laundry more often. At least until I do a bit more shopping...


Lindsay said...

This is funny. I was thinking of writing something about my laundry as well last night but I had a meeting after my run so I never got around to it. Maybe I will tonight!! :-)

But I agree, I can't stand cotton bras and I also have one but I only wear it for my non-running activities. And the shorts with undies built-in love them too! I have yet to do the tights with no undies though I've heard a lot of women do that.

I saw a woman wearing a thong the other day in the gym while on the elliptical. I could never do that!

Bayjb said...

Wow your blog is seriously reminding me to get off my a** and start training for the 5k

Anonymous said...

I still can't run in shorts! I'm hoping I can by the summer. I just don't like the rubbing - it's not a chafing problem, I'm aware of body glide and all, I just don't like them touching and prefer fabric between them. I hope as they firm up, I change my mind!

MizFit said...

Im with you on the nekid exercise and I wanna mandate that for the husband as well. All I DO anymore is laundry.


I GUESS :) its worth it.

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