Monday, September 17, 2012

Be Impressed

Was going for slightly more utilitarian as opposed to "funny" or "inspirational" today. I'm not your damn clown just here to amuse you!

She is not impressed.

And neither is McKayla (yes, I'm still on this awesome "meme").

But to the subject at hand: Training for a marathon is much more than just getting in your weekly mileage. I've learned that a good portion of the training needs to be about finding your routine and practicing for race day. For example:
  • What foods will agree with me? 
  • How much do I need to hydrate the day before?
  • How much should I hydrate before so I don't have to pee the entire time I'm running?
  • How many Gus should I eat? At which miles? In what flavors? (Espresso, Vanilla, and Chocolate, thank you very much!)
  • What the hell am I doing?

All important things, and I'm still continuing to work on them. But one of the elements which I will talk about today is the outfit. Head to toe, what am I going to wear that will be A) Comfortable   B) Weather-appropriate and   C) Non-chafing. :::shudder:::

I've experimented with a lot of different articles of clothing and accessories, and I think I've locked in -- finally -- my Marathon race-day outfit! It's full of brand-loyalty and is perhaps more expensive than you'd think. But I can't stress this point enough: Money is no object if it can prevent chafing.

Write that down.

Bra:  Lululemon "Energy" Bra

I'm pretty obsessed with this bra.
Key Features:
- Great fabric that doesn't get too stinky
- Fantastic fit: no red lines
- Amazing seams that leave absolutely no chafing.

I wore this for my 18 miles two weekends ago and for my 12 last weekend and it was absolutely flawless. There's also this little nifty pocket on the inside in case you wanted to tuck in a few dollars or something. I probably won't use it, but nice to have.

Also, for when I get my washboard abs (HA), this bra is fashionable enough to be worn on its own because of the cute back. Comes in a few cute colors, but I got it in black.

I kind of am diggin' the model in the photo above's Katniss hair. I think I wanna rock that more often.

Shorts: Lululemon "Dart and Dash" shorts
Was $58 (currently on sale online in limited styles for $44)
I got these in boring black (no fancy pink on the hip). Also have been wearing these for a few weeks, and there are some GREAT features on these shorts.

First, I love how long the inseam is, because they don't ride up and I don't have to worry about my butt comin' out. That said, because of the tightness, my ass does look pretty damn fabulous in them.

I keep 'em tight so they don't chafe. Trust me, chafe-age is something you really, really don't want to experience if you can help it. It's inevitable, but it's not super fun. And by that I mean, it is the WORST. And it's always in the most inopportune places. I'm going to go no further on this conversation stream, as no good will come of it.

Back to the shorts. These gems have some other great features too. Like most Lulu shorts, there are great pockets for gus, keys, money, etc. Really helpful. Also, you can see on the side it looks like there's some bling. But it's not for fashion. It's actually these little rubber-ish "grippies" so your shirt doesn't ride up! It's like, a slip mat in your bathtub.

I had to go up a size beyond what I thought I would be...but it eliminated "muffin top." Crucial.

Great material and great shorts. Very, very excited about this purchase.

Hat: Brooks "Infiniti" Running Hat
$24 online, also available at my favorite running store, Jack Rabbit.

A great hat. The mesh allows for "breathability" and the white makes it so you don't get too hot (I am not a fan of black hats in the sun, because it's like you're an ant under a mean neighborhood kid's magnifying glass). Inside is also a sweat band so you can handle your copious sweating.

Hats are great for me, because I don't like wearing sunglasses when I run. Some do, I just am not one of them. So this helps minimize glare and keep my own sweat from blinding me in an awkward, uncomfortable manner.

I may wear one of my fun headbands if it's not going to be super sunny. I don't know. Just so many options.

Fancy Lil' Belt: SpiBelt
$20 online (sometimes you can get discounts at running expos)

SpiBelts are fabulous. If you are considering getting into running, I would highly recommend a purchase. They tighten to your waist and stretch to hold items (scroll down for a pic of me and you can see my phone in it). I can get phone keys and gus into mine no problem, and it doesn't bump around as long as I position it in the "right" spot.

Caveat: I had to replace one after a couple of years because they will stretch. But it's $20. It's fine. Also, there are less expensive models, but I felt it was important to go for the water proof one since my iPhone will be jangling around in there sans case.

There are a lot of add-ons and gadgets you can do for the belt (add on gu pockets, etc.) but I have the regular one. When I train, I use this Amphipod Hydration belt that has a pouch for phone/gus and ability to hold up to four bottles (thanks for the gift, Sam!) But with water stops at every miles along the marathon route and lots of practice on how to drink water while running from other races, it won't be necessary.

Socks: Nike "Cushion No-Show Socks"
They're a little pricey, but good socks -- as I've learned -- are WORTH IT! I like that these have the dri-fit technology so they wick away sweat (well, as much as they can..I ain't comin' out of this dry, my friend). And the band at the bottom is a little bit of compression. Not sure if it works at all, but it feels pleasant so I go with it.

Great ankle height so I don't get any heel rubbing.

Shoes: Brooks Ghost 5
$110 online, also available (as of last week at least) on
First of all, they come in purple (can you tell I have a little affinity for that color?)

Second of all, these shoes are freaking fantastic. Love them. I used to wear the previous model (aptly named "Ghost 4") and those were lovely too. But these have some great upgrades that make them a lovely little ride for a runner like me who needs a good neutral shoe. They're lightweight, have great laces that stay tied, and have excellent arch support.

In these, I wear a size 8 1/2 despite being a 7 1/2 in most shoes (occasionally an 8). This Jack Rabbit recommendation to go up a side has been a life saver. I used to get chronic blisters and lose a lot of toenails (I know, it's unpleasant, but true). To date, my toenail count remains a solid 10. Although I really would advice keeping a comfortable distance from them, because they aren't necessarily the most lovely toenails you've ever laid eyes on at this stage of training. More importantly: NO BLISTERS.

:::Knocks on wood repeatedly:::

Now, I would recommend not buying these shoes just because I vouch for them. Or because Runner's World also named them an Editor's Choice. Or because they come in lovely purple! No, you should go to a store and get your gait analyzed like I did last year and again this year to adjust after injury  before making a purchase like this. Ask about the shoe though. You'll probably buy it.

Shirt: Team for Kids neon yellow running singlet
"Free" after finishing my fundraising commitment!

Head to toe, I will look like this, just as "practiced" at the Run to the Rock!
Check out this fancy lady (lady, right?) behind me posin' like a little diva. 

I'll need to start considering weather contingency plans (what if it, like, rains or snows? ughhhhh) And also have to consider what I'll be wearing that morning. That morning I need to be there very early despite my wave start time of 10:30am. So I'll need sweatpants, sweatshirts, etc. to keep me warm and then donate at the starting line. Eek.

Average lows are in the high 40s and highs in the low 60s, so a lot of room for error here. A bit concerned my outfit won't be appropriate for the high 40s working on that

Any suggestions for me on other things to consider? Arm warmers, perhaps? What did you (or your friends and family) do for past runs?

In other news, I got my official bib number this week! I'm starting in the Orange Corral at 10:30 am (as I mentioned) and am number 48487!

So even if this doesn't impress McKayla...

...I bet 48487 rockin' some fanny pack action an a neon shirt could.

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