Race Day Clothing for April 2014

What I wear when I race tends to change slightly with the weather, my mood, and of course – my weight. Which is why I am focusing specifically on next month and not in general. This also serves as a bit of shopping list for me, because my first event is a three day trail running series at Mohican State Park, and it tends to be a little messy on the trails this time of year. Which is EXCELLENT fun, but I probably don’t want to reuse some of the same gear each day. Woe is me, having to have 3 of my favorite items.

Starting with shoes and moving on up…

Shoes: My hunt for perfect trail shoes carries over from last year and the year before. My all time favorite pair were Asics, but each new version has been terrible and now, mine are getting up there in age. I did once upon a time love my New Balance minimus shoes, but now I have far too much weight on me and am far too out of practice of minimal running to make them work. Same with Brooks Pure Grits The interesting thing (to me) is how the Mohican race will require good trail shoes, while the 24 hour event I can get by on any type of shoe. In fact I think I plan to switch shoes every so many miles (10-20) depending on how many I bring and the conditions of the event.

I DID just buy a pair of Saucony Peregrines on Black Friday special.

saucony peregrine 2 womens

I took them out for a little test adventure last weekend. Can’t say I had any major complaints. Using advice of people more experienced than I, I ordered a 1/2 size up. Normally in shoes I wear a 6.5, in athletic shoes I wear a 7.0, I ordered a 7.5. When you’re out on the trails, literally ALL DAY, your feet swell and they tend to swell more than 1/2 a size. Here’s hoping this was the right move. However, I would feel more at ease if I had TWO pairs of shoes I liked. I’m thinking of trying out the Hoka’s.  Many of my friend swear by ’em. What do you think?

Socks: Hands down what I wear on race day are my Zensah Compression socks. You can read my review from 2012 here.

zensah_collage

I have a pair of white and a pair of argyle. Thinking I’ll order 2 more pairs before next month, because white + mud = an issue. The solid colors apparently have a new and improved formula, we’ll see what that means. I’m looking at the neon pink or the blue argyle, or the neon pink, neon green or neon yellow in solid colors. What would your vote be?

Gaiters : I stopped wearing ’em for a while, but I think I need to get back into it if I don’t want rocks and other debris in between my shoes and sock. I like the Dirty Girl Gaiter brand. Had giraffe print before, not sure where they are now. Maybe I’ll get the basic black this time around or put a little effort into finding my original pair. These CAN be used day after day.

Pants/Shorts: Being totally honest. all the weight I put on created a massive issue with me and pants. When I finally admitted I needed a large of a medium, I was well on my way to needing an XL. Luckily my weight has started to come own and some of my older pants are fitting again. Currently I have 2 pairs I LOVE and a few others I tolerate. Both of my all time favorite pairs are capris from Kohl’s. They’re Tek Gear brand and one is a very thin slinky material, the other is a thicker material with a “control top” feature. You’ve seen these pants just about every race photo ever. I have another pair of the slinky variety in blue, but somehow they aren’t as comfy. I may bring them for the 4 mile adventure on Friday and leave the two favorite pairs for Sat and Sun. I really would like to have 4-5 total pairs of pants I love. I just bought another pair of Tek Gear pants, they’re a sweat pant material and they’re GREAT for the gym, probably not great for trail running. I have a pair of lucy capris I love, but they don’t have a draw string, so that makes me nervous for race day. Maybe I’ll add my own. I’m also considering ordering the 3/4 capris from Zensah.

Underwear/Bra: I typically don’t wear bottom underwear on race day. To each their own, but I find it’s just another layer to argue with at bathroom breaks and another risk of chafe. Bras on the other hand are vital for a girl with 34Ds up top. It’s VERY hard to find a good 34D sports bra, most people will make the cups too big or the band too small or whatever. I’ve had luck with my Ta Ta Tamer from Lululemon, but I’d like to find others too. I currently own 3 of these, so nothing I need to buy before next month.

ta ta tamer

Shirt: For my gym work outs I’ve totally become the girl in regular cotton tee shirts or shirts with the funny sayings (you know like you see at Dollar Stores or whatever). Not sure why when I own SO MANY tech shirts. OK I DO know why. I find the cotton material more forgiving of the weight I gained. I can’t be wearing Life is Good shirts out on the trails though! Well, I can, but no. I’m not a LS type of girl, so that at least settles one question. However if it’s is chilly this really cramps my style. My all time favorite race day shirt is a bright yellow shirt from Under Armour. I have another in pink, but it doesn’t seem to fit the same way (they “updated” it of course). This still leaves 2 other days! I’ll probably break out my purple OTD shirt from Wild Bill, it served me well at Run Wodostock last year, and that really only leaves one other shirt. I have plenty, so I won’t be shopping, but what to wear? What to wear? If it were warmer it’d be one of my lucy tanks for sure!

Accessories: I will probably have on a regular watch and my FitBit Zip. Between these two items I’ll know the time and my approximate mileage. I may try to get a few more runs out of my Garmin, but she’s dying. I was supposed to have my BIA like forever ago. I’m so disgusted with the process it’s not even funny. I spent good money though so I don’t want to go buy something else. For hydration I will have my CamelBak Arc 4.

camelbak arc 4

For fuel I will have my UltrAspire Spry (old design) where I can easily store goodies on my back. Chances are good I’ll wear either a BondiBand to keep my hair back or a HeadSweats hat. In case it’s chilly/wet I’ll have a light jacket I can easily tie around my waist or stash with my pack. I may bring arm sleeves too. Not sure what brand I have, they’re older at this point.

There you have it, the run down on my clothing for the two events in April. What do you think? Any products you would suggest? What’s your favorite race day gear?

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