Having the right gear.
Anyone who knows me will know that this is not going to be a post about appearance - the right gear for me will never be 'what I want other people to see', because I generally couldn't care less, but what works for the activities I am doing. And that is why having the right gear is actually really important.
Having said that, I'd better make a bit of a disclaimer, because about a month ago I was lucky enough to win a competition through the Asics Roadtesters NZ group and I have received some awesome gear from them.
Anyway, with the West Coaster coming up, I have been going through all my gear trying to work out what will actually work best for me through the off-road half-marathon that I will be competing in (well, at least completing...). There are a couple of reasons that I need to think about this.
- If I get too hot, I faint. It's a blood pressure thing, but basically I have to wear stuff that breathes really well. I have a couple of favourite running leggings, but they are either really long, or they are quite heavy material, which means with the unseasonably summery November we are having, I just can't wear them. So I have been working out which of the lighter shorter ones I have are the best, and won't fall down (a very important consideration!).
- I also have wibbly bits (doesn't everyone?). Not a lot, but enough so that when I run, my arms chafe. That can be really uncomfortable. So I need a top that is loose enough to breathe (see above) but fitting enough that my arms don't rub on it. I'm finding t-shirts are just not a thing, and even tank-top type ones are not ideal, but I do now have a couple of singlets that have good big armholes and are really light fabric, so that's looking good too.
- Like every other woman out there, I have boobs. Not much in that department, to be fair, but even so, they need to be kept under control. I usually wear a crop top that holds everything in place and nothing moves, but here is where that lucky competition win has come in really handy, because on one of the bits of gear I got was this technical thing which is a cross between a running bra and a crop, and it is fantastic!
- Shoes! I have to get this right. I have some new ones, courtesy of the competition, but I won't be wearing them for this run. There are a couple of reasons. Even though they are the same model shoes that I have had before, they seem to have changed the specs just a little, and so now, when I run downhill, my feet slide forward and my toes get a bit squished. I have the weirdest toes anyway, they don't need to go any more out of shape! And also, I'm not going to wear my new shoes on a run that is through the bush, along and through a stream, and on a black-sand beach as well. That would be silly. So, I am going to wear my most recent older pair of runners. Sorted.
The reason this is important for me is that the event coming up is going to be a challenge; I don't want to make it even harder for my self. I would like to run with a camelback or something, as I do get really thirsty/dehydrated when I do a reasonable distance, and I've tried out both my own one that I use mountain-biking as well as the blue small person's (without him knowing, don't tell) and that just isn't a goer - see bullet points 1 and 2. So I still need to work out something, let me know if you have any great ideas.
The really important thing about any sort of sports gear is that it must be functional. It must work for you to help you do the things you want, not hold you back. It is really important for me to know what my specs are, what things I need from the stuff I wear, and then make sure I am wearing the right things for the purpose.
No matter how mix and match I look.