Amy over at Runners Lounge has a post about fashion rules for running. Her first rule is "If you can cross the line, anything is fine." This is, of course, 100% true. One of the coolest things about running is that you really just need a decent pair of shoes (and a sports bra, if you're a woman), and you are good to go. No need for a whole lot of gear or flim-flam.
The last time in my life I was really serious about running was when I was a cross country runner in high school. We trained a lot, two workouts a day for a total of at least 10 miles a day. We combined road runs, weight training, form drills, hill work, and some truly brutal track workouts (the 16 quarters we did my junior year is the second hardest thing I have ever done physically, surpassed only by 3 days worth of labor pains). And at the time, my teammates and I rather pointedly didn't care what we wore.
We definitely weren't buying special running shorts or clothing made of tech fabrics. We wore old t-shirts and whatever shorts we had handy - often just cut-off sweats. The closest thing to real running gear any of us wore were tights, and that's only because in November when you're training for State, it's really freaking cold outside. We scoffed at the idea of matchy-matchy gear.
But now? Well, my thinking has changed. I greatly prefer tech fabrics, because the moisture wicking really makes a difference to me. I have special socks that I wear just for running, otherwise I will get blisters. My running skirts are some of my favorite garments.
I also do something that my teenaged self would have considered unthinkable: I wear outfits that are not only matching, but also... cute. I'll go out in a white running skirt with pink trim and a matching pink singlet. This morning, I wore my black running skirt, a grey t-shirt that proclaims me to be "ATHLETIC," a red zip-front jacket (I love you, fall weather), and a white running hat from One More Mile that tells anyone who can read it that Running Is My Happy Hour. I'll admit it: I looked adorable.
I have come to terms with my new desire for running fashion. Amy is right that if it gets you across the line, it's fine. But I swear, knowing that I'm out there looking like a serious runner makes me feel even more like I really am one.