On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wow! Thanks!

I love all of the comments I got yesterday on my running skirts post. Bridget even brought up the topic on her blog in response! I'm not sure exactly why running skirts are so polarizing, but they are. Still, if I've convinced one person* to try one - or convinced one person that anyone wearing a skirt isn't a poseur who is more concerned with their looks than their running - I feel good.

It seems like people have different thresholds for what it means to look cute. Is "cute" a goal of getting dressed to run? Or is it just sometimes a totally okay by-product? As one commenter put it, is it the functionalists versus the fashionistas? Or maybe there are some people out there who won't feel comfortable unless they look cute? I think I might maybe be able to understand and begrudgingly respect that.

I'm a functionalist. Here's where the magic happens in my bedroom:

Shorts Skirts on the left, shirts on the right, sports bras and socks in the white basket under the shelf (pyjamas in the middle pile). When I wake up in the morning, it's one from column A, one from column B, then some socks and a boulder holder (I can't believe I just made that joke), throw on one of the pairs of running shoes I've tripped over on my way to the closet and I'm good to go. I rotate in tights and long sleeves in the winter, but the basic idea is the same: comfort over cuteness.

I hate people judging me for my skirts, obviously. So here you go: if you want to look cute to run, I won't judge you. If you put on makeup for a race, well, then I might judge you a little bit, I'll admit, but I'll keep it to myself just like I'd want the people judging me for my skirt to keep it to themselves.

But yeah, I'm still not into the tutus. Or the costumes at races. Or the juggling, or the knitting, or the running backwards, any of that. I might not have any natural talent for running, but I take it seriously as a sport - and if you do, too, we're cool, no matter how much cuter you might look than me.

*And if that one person is a guy and if he sends me photos (I WILL LOAN YOU ONE OF MY SKIRTS), I will be the happiest runner on earth.


  1. I have the same 'getting dressed for a run' system. That's probably why I look how I look in any photo of me running. The photos of last Saturday's race are a new low... I should hire a stylist, right? You know, since I'm getting 'looks' and all...

  2. So I hate admitting that I'm wrong. This is not a unique thing. But I'm repeating it to explain why I didn't comment yesterday. You see, I was trying to come up with all these arguments that would poke holes in your running skirts reasoning. Unfortunately, I was stuck with the unfortunate (for me) truth that you were, like...right. I honestly hadn't given much thought to the comfort argument, although I had heard it, but you kind of hit it home for me.

    Also remembered a piece of advice given to me by the running store dude who sold me my first pair of distance spikes: "The style doesn't really matter. Whatever makes you feel fast is best."

  3. Sarah, I think the weirdest thing to me is that my same defense of the skirt has now forced me to begrudgingly (*very* begrudgingly) accept makeup wearers, which has always been my line in the sand ("I might run in a skirt, but at least I don't wear makeup to run!"). But, look at Ginette Bedard. I'm certainly not going to be the one to tell her that she's not a serious runner - and the lady certainly loves her lipstick and mascara. If I could have her times NOW, at my age, I'd be ecstatic.

  4. I love my running skirt. I used to think they were dumb and then tried oneon. I am super comf in it and less self conscious. I don't wear makeup or brush my hair but a skirt makes me feel goood :)

  5. How about a juggler who is way faster than you? Because that asshole always beat me in DC races. And not by a little.

  6. I am so envious of your closet and closet organization! I only have one running skirt, but it really is super comfy, and non-chafey--although I feel a bit overly girly in it. Just makes me want to kick more ass while in it!

  7. I laugh at the thought of my closet as organized. TRICK PHOTOGRAPHY. And I should clarify - it's technically a wardrobe from IKEA, since my entire 2bdrm apartment has only two small closets.

  8. You know what makes me feel good? Vodka. And the idea of pouring it on a pile of those things and then lighting them on fire all while crushing iphones with a sledgehammer.

    No worries. I'm busting your chops. I just hope you did not lapse into catatonic schizophrenia ad the thought of it...

    Tee hee. <3 #troublemaker

  9. Speaking of guys in skirts - apparently there's going to be pictures and video of Scott from @iRunnerBlog running in one soon.

    And confession: I never go out without makeup. And that includes out for a run, out for a race. Granted, it's very little makeup but I'm not comfortable without it. Which means that every time you've seen me running, you've seen me running with makeup.

  10. Having to rethink my stance on makeup wearers was NOT what I expected to get out of the skirt debate!

    And Angry? Do NOT waste vodka like that. Just use straight up gasoline if you want them to burn.