“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”
― Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman
Boy, is that the truth. One must not overlook the importance of not only being functional, but being fashionable on race day. This is, after all, why companies like Skirt Sports and Running Skirts exist.
The Race Day Outfit. How I have struggled over these choices since 2009 when I ran my first half marathon. Am I more comfortable in tights, capris, shorts, or a running skirt? Will it be chilly when I cross the starting line? Might it rain? Sunglasses or no sunglasses? Hat or no hat? Is it windy? Is it mega sunny? Will fog burn off? Holy crap...too much to think about.
Having said that, I have to share that I absolutely LOVE looking cute on race day! But it can't be a wasted sense of cuteness. One also has to carry GU, phone, keys (hotel/motel and/or car), money/ID, water, arm warmers....i mean, you can't just march onto the race without your hydration and food. So race day apparel must be functional as well as fashionable.
I am not being paid by any of these companies, but I wanted to offer up my favorite race day apparel pieces - Sunday will probably see me wearing a combination of two to three of them :)
1. Running Skirts - my all time fave is the Gym Girl Ultra Skirt by Skirt Sports. The shorties are long enough to cover your thighs comfortably, and those two side pockets on the shorties are PERFECT for my iPhone and my GU. A fantastic port for your headphones allows you to run the cord through so your skirt doesn't ride up. The only thing missing from this amazing skirt is an inside drawstring.
2. Skirt Capris - right now it's a tie. The Lotta Breeze Skirt Capri from Skirt Sports and the Contender Skort from Athleta. I've been running in my same Lotta Breeze skirt/capri for the past three years. I bought it on eBay and have more than gotten my money's worth. Again, the same set up with pockets and media port and the capris are the perfect length if it's cool or warm. Mesh material makes the capris light if you need them but can cover your legs comfortably if it's chilly. The Contender Skort I just got on eBay and have run with them once. I love the light material and the slight feel of compression tights. Inside drawstring that I LOVE and the skirt is ruched so it's very flattering on bigger hips like mine :) The downside - only one pocket, on the middle back of the skirt waistline. My iPhone fits...but there's no media port for my headphones, so that will be interesting on race day.
3. Regular Capris - my favorites are from Under Armour, but I don't know the style name. bought them right before the LA marathon in 2011 and I can't seem to get rid of them. I almost never race in them, though, because there are no good pockets. They mainly get worn for cross training and shorter runs. The small zipper pocket in the back works for stashing a GU or my house key, but that's about it.
4. Shirts and Tanks - now here is where I get a little strange. I absolutely love training in my finisher shirts from previous races! I have my favorite race shirts because of comfort, color, design...and even functionality. The Half Marathon shirt from the 2011 Santa Rosa Half Marathon had a small pocket for an iPod nano/shuffle and media port. Very cool. But on race day, I NEVER wear a previous race finishing shirt. For some reason, I think that is in poor taste. I also never wear the shirt OF that race on race day - because I consider them to be finisher shirts and don't want to wear mine until i've finished! So I always wear a plan top or tee. I LOVE Lucy for that very reason - their tops and tanks are uniquely cut for a woman's body and the fabrics are light and in lots of pretty colors.
HOWEVER - i just bought the Skirt Sports Adventure Tank and am super excited to wear this before race day. It has a nice pocket in the back that will probably be PERFECT for my iPhone. Fingers crossed.
Up next.....the joy and bliss of carb loading and the art of the race day playlist!