It’s been awhile, but I’m back. (And hopefully will be back to blogging a lot more again!) The past two months I’ve been juggling school, drama practice, drivers’ ed, and track … ALL AT ONCE! Our plays for drama are this weekend, and drivers’ ed will be done in another two weeks. Phew! Lately I’ve barely had time to get enough sleep, let alone blog! So after waiting weeks to write and find time to do anything but eat and sleep, I finally am going to talk about something running related that’s been stuck in my head waiting to be written for the last month or so. Today, the topic is clothes.
Some people are running clothes snobs while others just throw on clothes for warmth, whether it looks like they’ve worn the same outfit everyday and never bothered to wash out the mud and sweat stains. No judgement … just an observation. There’s so many brands and styles of clothes that are out on the market now. Dri-fit, storm-fit, wick-away, technical, lightweight, compression, ultra-light and so on and so forth. You would think that the simple “100% polyester” tag would make it a workout shirt. I don’t understand how T-shirts involve “technology” like Nike says they do. C’mon, it’s a T-shirt! For all I care, it might as well be cotton. Or as I like to call it, the best sweat-trapping, heat-inducing, arm-chafing, smell-holding, and common T-shirt material around! Really though. Before all the fancy technical shirts and dri-fit material, there was cotton. And lots of it. Personally, I don’t think Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Prefontaine, Grete Waitz, Don Kardong, or Frank Shorter would’ve run any faster with the help of better running clothes. Throwing on whatever shorts and shirt they could find as well as strapping on some old tennis shoes before going on a run worked back then, and is a part of running that makes it so freeing even now. Think about it … Back then, they made running flats with waffle irons. Literally. (Thank you Bill Bowerman! Co-founder of Nike. ;-)Don’t get me wrong though, I adore running clothes and all the different types you can buy nowadays. You could probably put me in the “running clothes snob” category. If I could wear running clothes everyday for the rest of my life, I would be one happy girl! What I wear when I run though, is super picky and super selective. No matter that they’re a main brand, and understanding that smaller brands have just as nice of clothes, I love Nike. Seriously. Some days I’ll catch myself being a Nike whore and wearing everything Nike from my shoes, socks, shorts, shirt, and even my sports bra. There’s something about that little swoosh and the variety of clothes that they have that keeps me coming back for more. All the other non-Nike workout gear that I have is just as colorful and running related as the rest, and yet I’m equally as picky about those styles. I like short running shorts, sometimes with a split … but not too short. I like short sleeve T-shirts, but not too much decoration. I like long sleeves, but not too long that they have thumb holes. I like running leggings, but they must have a drawstring and be specifically made for running. I like running jackets, but they have to be thin enough that they don’t get too hot and turn my run into what seems like a 3 hour-long sauna session.
The list of my clothing whims and wants go on. So long in fact, that I even forget what I like sometimes and buy running clothes that just sit at the bottom of my drawers … waiting for the day that they’ll see a run, or more likely, the give-away pile of clothes. Being so picky, I usually just end up wearing old road race shirts and shirts I’ve gotten from running related events (i.e: Prefontaine Classic, XC camp, Brooks PR Invitational, etc … ). When it’s cold I wear long sleeves because I have such a huge dislike of running in sweatshirts. Seriously, it’s bad. I feel like a 200 pound marshmallow and definitely look the part! It’s even worse on longer runs, because let’s face it, after 6 miles, you aren’t going to want that sweatshirt anymore unless it’s a blizzard and 30 below. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little dramatic there, but just wanted to get my point across. The only time I ever run in a sweatshirt is only warm up runs at a track meet. Once I’ve been running and hit the 15 minute mark, I feel the need to peel it off. This happens every single time and hasn’t gotten any better. I just don’t understand how people can run in them all the time. For me, that’s one of the greatest mysteries … Sorry to babble aimlessly about such a small detail. Now if Nike made a wick-away sweatshirt, maybe I’d try wearing one more often. ;-)
That’s the thing about their clothes though. Nike is a brand name in running. Yes Brooks, and Asics may be prominent brands in the running community too, but have you ever noticed that pretty much everyone (professionals and recreational alike) who are really good, wear Nike? I’ve noticed this at track and cross country meets. The better of the athletes, because it’s not just runners who do this, don’t wear their school’s warm ups. Instead they’re always wearing some snazzy looking Nike top and non-marshmallow looking sweat pants. I guess if you’re good you wear whatever you want because everyone knows who you are and the school logo on warm ups are thereby irrelevant, but still … Sometimes it’s not even just their warm ups, but spreads to wearing neon socks, bandanas, gloves, hats, and whatever else you can think of. Maybe these different things represent good luck charms because I know I’m like that. Every meet I wear the same sports bra and same socks (which by the way, are getting holes!). It’s just a part of my pre-race routine. I wish I could be like that group that wears cool outfits though … One of my friends from another school is apart of that group and he has the coolest outfits every. single. meet. He may not be sponsored like almost every professional athlete is, but he sure looks the part!
I suppose the point of this post isn’t just clothes … but Nike. Not only Nike and how they’re a leader in the workout clothing community, but why once you buy something Nike … you simply can’t go back. Even if you’re an avid wearer of Road Runner Sports shorts, Brooks tank tops, Asics socks, or whatever else, you have to admit that Nike does make really nice quality clothes. Nike has had problems with sweat shops (not even going to go into that!), but disregarding that while noting that the working conditions have gotten better over the years, I’m sure that not one of you can say you don’t own at least something made by Nike. They’re one of the biggest athletic brands out there, and hey! who wouldn’t be with sayings like “Just Do It,” “Faster Than Yesterday,” and “Pretty Fast Isn’t Good Enough.” Not to mention the iconic swoosh. Overall, Nike is awesome. Even though they might be considered stuck-up with how many different varieties of clothes they have and for being such a main brand, but oh well … Days when I’m wearing all Nike, I feel faster. Whether it’s because of the actual clothes and shoes I’m wearing or just what I want to make myself believe, it doesn’t matter. They make comfy, cool looking clothes, encouraging ads, and not to mention their long history with running. I’ll be a Nike whore any day. ;-)
Until next time,
P.S: See? Sometimes these are exactly the words I need to motivate myself to get out the door for a run. It’s safe to say … they know what they’re doing. :-)