|Dear Friends, |
Last weekend I ran the Seattle Rock'n'Roll Half-Marathon
. I'm not a particularly fast runner, but I trained this year (unlike last year) and I really enjoyed myself and felt accomplished during and after the race. The glow is still there and I have committed to the full marathon next year!
What to Wear on Race Day
Of course, this was an event, so there was clothing to work out. Planning what to wear for a race requires considerable thought. You have to think about chafing, pulling, gaping and general comfort overall. If anything is out of place or uncomfortable, it can become the focus of the run. Instead of enjoying the "runner's high," it's all too easy to become obsessed with what is going wrong with your shorts, shirt or shoes. Any of these things can sap your energy - and I need all the energy I can to keep moving mile after mile.
Look Good = Feel Good
Along with the comfort issue there is also the "look" issue. I've said many times that when you work out, you should make sure you look your best. Working out is part mental, part physical, and when we look good, we feel good.
The Team T-Shirt Dilemma
I trained with a running group, and we decided to create t-shirts for the group with our team logo. About a month before the run, we went to a team store to pick out a style we liked and order our shirts. A few weeks later, what we received (with not enough time to reorder) were baggy shirts: ugly, too big and with no fit to them. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a fit freak. It has to fit or I get rid of it. Wearing baggy clothes does not make one feel good. I had worked really hard to prepare for this race and I wasn't going to let a bad shirt bring me down.
"Flashdance" to the Rescue - or Maybe Not
So, I did what every self-respecting girl who was in her 20s during the 80s did. I took a scissors to the shirt. For some reason, I was sure I could make it work by cutting the neckline deeper (this did not work) and making the sleeves shorter (again, not a good idea). In short, I was trying to "Flashdance" my shirt - except I'm not 23, I'm 47. At the end of my clothing "rework" I had managed to ruin the shirt and was left with just the logo in my hand.
Re-Learning My Own Lessons
For the race, of course I wore a different shirt. One that fit me, had the right cut, and made me feel like a runner, and a good one at that. In fact, this shirt made me feel like The Real You. There are a few key lessons in this story:
- Preparing for an athletic competition is like preparing for a special event. Plan ahead.
- Don't take alterations into your own hands unless you are a professional.
- When you look good, you feel good.
Sometimes it's hard to remember, especially when we want to fit in with others or belong to a team, that we need to maintain our sense of self. I really wanted to support and be a part of my training group. I also knew that I would be preoccupied if I wore a baggy shirt during the race. The important thing is to identify The Real You and make the choice that works for you.
I hope you continue to find The Real You through all the events you have on your calendar. Remember to enjoy your summer activities - and dress accordingly!