Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Skirting the Issue

On this beautiful winter afternoon, there was nothing that could hold me back from a stellar 5-miler along one of my favorite trail routes.  I was amped up and carbed up to tackle the miles after two full days of rest.  It was Christmas, after all, and I am pretty sure I broke every dietary law created.  I was going to burn up that trail and leave no prisoners...and I did it in a skirt.  A skirt?  Yep, a skirt.  You read that right.  I ran in a running skirt for the first time ever, thanks to a healthy amount of peer pressure from my fellow "sole" sisters Steph and Suzanne.  They are both fairly tough chics in their own right and they both are skirt enthusiasts.  My purpose was to prove them wrong once and for all that a dedicated running purist like myself would never convert to skirts no matter how much my buddies ranted and raved about them.

If the truth must be told, I bought the darn thing weeks ago.  My biggest fear was if I started wearing cute little skirts during my runs, my focus would shift away from the run itself and I would start agonizing over my appearance.  I have enough of those insecurities during a regular day, so I don't want to incorporate them into my workouts.  My pre-run prep time would shift to worrying about coordinating the cute skirt with even cuter tops, and match the cutest visors to match some really cute socks and shoes.  Cuteness would kill the burgeoning athlete in me.  How can one get sweaty and maintain cuteness simultaneously?  Isn't there a law?  If I wanted to be tough and kick some serious asphalt, then cuteness would have to be sacrificed.  I'm a badass marathoner and I leave the cute chics in the dust.  Next thing you know, I would start smearing lip gloss and mascara on my face before heading out the door for a run.  I shudder at the thought of makeup entering any part of my workout.

Most of the online catalogs and specialty stores had these flimsy things priced a little out of my budget anyway, so I thought I was safe.  However when my favorite discount retail giant starting carrying a brand of running skirts for as little as $17, I had run out of excuses to avoid buying one.  I bought it during one of my post-Thanksgiving shopping splurges and tucked it away in my drawer until today.  Of course I only decided to wear it today so I could report back to my running buds that not every gal is suited for skirts.  The objective was to run in it once and give them my less than satisfactory review later.  I expected a lot of riding up, bunching up and a scorching amount of chafing.  So what happened?  Nothing.  No riding up and no chafing.  The skirt felt like nothing at all.  I felt comfortable and free and barely noticed what was covering my lower half at all.  It stayed in place and kept all the, um, trouble spots concealed nicely. 

Yeah I still jiggled in the usually areas, but all the jiggling took place under the skirt and became my little secret that no one else could see.  Sweat still pooled and dripped down the middle of my tech t-shirt.  However everything about the skirt remained intact and dry.  The most shocking aspect about the whole experience was that I did not obsess about my cuteness one single time.  I still logged my miles and managed to do so with yet another new running tool at my disposal.  Mid way through the run I even contemplated investing in another skirt while all the after-Christmas sales were still at full tilt.  If I turn into some sort of obsessive running fashionista, we can mark this moment as when it all began.  I will try to refrain from placing too much emphasis on the skirt for doing anything more than outfitting me for my run.  After all, this may be the start of a beautiful (not cute) running relationship.

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