What to wear what to wear…

27 Jul

I am racing again this upcoming Saturday at the completely free (I know, how can they DO that?) 52nd annual Ocean Beach Road Race in New London, CT. It is an 11.6 mile loop with views at some points rivaling paid races in Rhode Island. I had a blast last year and even if it is sunny and humid, I don’t care, I’ll have fun. (Because FREE.) Since I took a week off after Wakely, I will be slowly upping miles this week in training for October’s Portland Oregon marathon, and the Ocean Beach is a leg-tester, a cobweb shaker, a road-legs readier. However, I am a little concerned about pants. More to the point, about race shorts. My beloved and very old, very used Nike dri-fit shorts, which, if you cared enough to look at every race photograph of me for the past four years are on my butt (with the exception of Raleigh and Maine where I wore loosey goosey nylon shorts and look how I did at THOSE marathons – [okay you don’t have to look {but I was slower.}]) are starting to show through. Especially after the Appalachian Trail where I scooched (for like fifteen minutes, an inch at a time — scooch! scooch! You dig?) on a log over a raging stream to get to the other side… these shorts have lost a little rear. These shorts. Oh, these shorts. They go just far enough down the leg so that where the two legs make contact (I don’t care how skinny you are, your legs probably have a point there where they meet each other like to begrudging sisters kissing cheeks) the shorts cover the contact point to keep the chaffe from happening. The chaffe is an awful thing that happens while runners do their thing and often they don’t know they have the chaffe until after in the shower and then COWABUNGA.  It makes the next day hard to go to work in anything but yoga pants, and most places of employment do not want you in yoga pants. Well, RISD doesn’t really care but it’s a slippery slope. One day yoga pants, the next day, feck it, flannel pajamas.

Nike Dri-Fit Shorts are stretchy, feature a stretchy zipper pocket on the back hip that fits lots of stuff, and prevent thigh chaffe!

These shorts, as I say, are oldish. I got them at the Salvation Army, so they are doubly old, of dubious origin. They might have been worn once, or they might have been raced in and beloved and then their owner died or moved and they went into the bin and then I got them for 6.99 during yellow tag day. They are Nike Dri-fit, but although they look sorta kinda like the photograph above (from the Nike site) they are probably somewhat different, being a different vintage, and outfitters LOVE TO CHANGE the styles. Sneakers especially. Why Brooks changes Cascadia every year is beyond me. It makes me want to scream. Anyhow, so, I am in a bit of a pinch.  Do I wear the old beloved black beauties, further pushing the envelope of their elasticity and rear material tensile strength? Or do I buy a new pair? Or race in a different pair of shorts? Because, you see, I have tried racing in other shorts and it is not the same.

I have become attached to 45 square inches of spandex.

I could try to go to the Salvation Army and see if I am lucky enough to find another pair. I have been very lucky at the SA over the years. I could totally be sponsored by Salvation Army.  Under Armor shirt in fly-hating yellow? Check.



The only thing I really buy new is shoes. The knee socks are not the real compression socks, just the compression socks that people with “very close” veins buy at the pharmacy superstore. The bandana was a gimme from Tom I think.  But generally, for the most part, I don’t buy new dugs for running and cycling, perhaps for the same reason I have never bought a new bike. Because, even after all these years, there is a part of me that is chuckling and laughing really hard, actually, at these endeavors as if to say, what? REALLY? As if to say, you are not a real cyclist. You are not a real runner. Therefore, you must be clad in used things. Other people’s cast-off rags.

The best time to buy stuff for running and cycling at the Salvation Army is in January and February. Because, there are a lot of people – and this is sad so I will say it quickly – who get stuff for Christmas they don’t really want and they immediately run upstairs after the family is gone and stuff it into a black bag in the closet called “The Salvation Army bag”. So, guys, if you have never seen your gal in that sweet tech t-shirt you got for her last Valentine’s day so she might be tempted to run with it on and conversely, with you? It’s because I have it. And I love it (thank you!!!).

It can cost a lot of money to be an “athlete.” Just trying to match can be really hard, because they keep changing the colors every year. This year, the colors are very, very bright. Last year, they were pastels. Unless I wear black shorts, I never match. I do love Blaze Orange and this year there is a lot of it. Which means next year, I will have a lot of it, cheap.

One woman I know spent a few hundred dollars at an expo buying one outfit (to be fair, it included shoes.)

It gets expensive. Socks for twenty bucks. Really! I like the Injini toe socks and no, I don’t buy them used.  I will wear mine until threadbare (they are, already) before I part with my hard earned cash for more.

So, I could go online and drop thirty bucks for these shorts (see above) at Kohl’s, which isn’t a bad price for a new pair of beloved shorts that might last me many, many scoochie Appalachian trail river crossings, Wakely-blowdown-butt-scrunchings, and falling-on-my- ass-trail-slippings. Or, I can just wear a different pair of Salvation Army shorts.

Or, there’s always duct tape. Which is so much fun I can’t stand it.

I wonder how that would be in terms of preventing the chaffe?



2 Responses to “What to wear what to wear…”

  1. Keys July 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    how about a burka on top and some duck tape on the bottom?

    • anjshaw July 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      mmm. Sweaty AND sticky. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” x 10,000,000

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