Sunday, September 30, 2012

What to Wear Out There

I thought I had my race day outfit figured out. You know, the one I planned to wear during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon--and the one I had practiced many of my long training runs in. After all, we've been dealing with warm temperatures since March, and when I thought back to the races I've run this year, I couldn't name one that warranted more than shorts and a tech tee. That doesn't bode well for Marathon Sunday.

It might be warm-ish outside right now, warm enough to wear that tee and shorts combo I'm so used to. But if you're like me and caught the weather report this morning, you might be shuddering at what's to come later in the week. I've come to grips with losing my summer tan from all the swims, bike rides and runs that had me outside for hours on end. I'm accepting the changing colors of the leaves--and seeing piles of them on the path (even though it's marathon time, I still hate fall). But it's been warm for most of the year, almost to the point where I forgot I lived in Chicago and a spot with milder winters, that I'm not ready to accept the chills. (Did anyone else get used to sweltering all summer that they're actually cold running in what would likely be deemed ideal temperatures?) And I'm most certainly confused about what I'm going to wear Sunday morning to a. be spotted by my cheering section (thanks parents and husband for coming out), b. stay comfortable and relatively chafe free from start to finish, and c. not freeze either from a sharp northerly wind Chicago likes to throw at us or while waiting at the start line. Oh yeah, and have a pocket or two to carry my emergency fuel kit--this girl's always gotta have her tropical punch Shot Bloks stashed away--and a spot to clip my Shuffle without it getting too wet (I've already ruined two this summer).

Here's what I think I've decided on:

Bright tank. With this number, my front will glow, just enough for my family to spot me, and my back will have that much-needed stash pocket. My standby is a discontinued tri top from TYR that trumps all the newer versions--whoever decided it was a good idea to remove the zipper pocket, and also make said pocket smaller, was WRONG.
Race belt. I know I could pin my number to my front, but I've grown so used to using the belt in triathlons that I feel naked without it. And if I randomly decide to throw on my running jacket, at least I know I don't have to run the entire 26.2 miles wearing it.
Gore Sunlight tights short. Similar to the Moving Comfort compression shorts that are apparently a hot item at Fleet Feet, I'm probably never going back to my old standbys. Granted I have yet to run a marathon in these tights but they have yet to disappoint me--and they're just long enough to make me want to skip the capri tights I usually whip out when the temps are in the 50s.
Balega socks. Had I known how awesome these socks were before July when I randomly wore them on a training run (and then didn't stop wearing them however many long runs and a marathon later), I think I could have bypassed the usual blistered feet I'd find after nearly all of my other marathons. I don't know what it is about these socks that keeps the blisters at bay, but I'm hooked.
Nike Lunarglide+ 3. I have yet to try the 4 version that was released in July (and am totally drooling over the Chicago-specific design that meshes with the marathon gear), but I can't seem to part with these shoes. I have four pairs! As for which ones will make an appearance on race day, I'm going with the ones with the least amount of mileage. And they're grey and pink so I can spill as much Gatorade on them as I want without feeling like I ruined the shoes.
Arm warmers. This 2009 expo purchase was the best thing ever. I've only had to use these arm warmers once in Chicago, but they've come to rescue on some chilly bike rides and shorter fall races. And they're so much easier to pull off when I heat up than a long-sleeve top.

So I guess between the list and the only picture I could find that showed off this marathon outfit (minus the new shorts), you might be able to spot me on the course. Or you can steer me away from dressing like it's summer when it really looks and feels like fall. Hmm, maybe that's part of the reason I get the sniffles after these races.

But forget me. What do you wear when you run a marathon? Does the weather affect your outfit selection?

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