Four Days to Marathon

A little 'bit about running-wear.

One thing I never thought about was having to to buy runner-specific clothing. I thought it was shirt, shorts, shoes and off you go. You can go that route, but a little wisdom goes even further. The best piece of advice I received early on was to buy a good pair of long-distance running shoes.

In the half-marathon I ran last year, I wore a regular pair of Nike's. A few weeks into my training, I started having some knee issues which eventually forced my to get a compression brace; I ended up having to wear that brace during the actual race. Later, when I was telling my neighbor about my knee issues, he identified the shoes as the culprit. At the end of last year I went up to the running store in O'Bryonville and bought a nice pair of Mizuno shoes.* Throughout my training, they have been completely reliable— both my knees and my feet have felt great. So the most important thing I discovered: if you run the marathon, don't get cheap with the shoes.

The early winter runs demanded that I purchase a some cold weather running gear. While I haven't worn any of that in over a month or so, it was critical in my not freezing during those January/February runs.

As I started running over six miles I discovered that, at least for males, certain things start rubbin' the wrong way. I never experienced this when playing soccer because you're constantly starting and stopping in your motion; I never had the consistent, repetitive running motion that accompanied long-distance running. On those longer runs, I'd come home walking like I just rode a horse or, in my northern hemisphere, feeling like Andy from The Office. As a result, I invested in some Under Armour which eliminates any chafing.**

I will admit that on Sunday, in addition to the shoes and shorts, I'll be wearing only the tight Under Armour t-shirt. This is somewhat amusing as I really don't have the chiseled body that is supposed to accompany the wearing of such a shirt, i.e., my six-pack is more like one of those small Heineken kegs. Still, I'm more interested in utility than aesthetics; the shirt breathes well and has the ability to keep me both warm and cool when necessary. Plus, I don't think I look THAT embarrassing in it (not enough to solicite groans) so I'm going for it.

Shoes, shorts, shirt— that's about all I need.


*I usually only buy Nike or Adidas shoes; this was the first time in a long time I've gone outside the big two. Mizuno, by the way, was the brand Pete Rose used when he broke the all-time hits record.

**I must admit that I have another tool to ward off unnecessary chafing. It rhymes with "gasoline" and, as this is a family blog, I will not describe the where it goes.