Sarah wrote a lovely ode to her purple hat a few days ago. Way back in my rowing days, I had a lucky, cotton Minnesota Twins baseball hat way back that had jagged white lines circling the brim from all my sweaty workouts. Now it's smashed somewhere in some bin; I come across it every two months or so, when I'm looking for a mitten or favorite dinosaur or something else that, although it was just here 2 minutes ago, has magically disappeared.
Although my running career has no such relic, the thing I'm most attached to is my gray Nike running skirt, which I've logged at least 500 miles in. I got it while training for the 2007 Nike Women's Marathon, and although I didn't wear it in the race, I did wear it for the Runner's World photo shoot. Whenever I put it on, it reminds me of early mornings with my friend Katherine; how important and vital having my own goal was to my mental health; how intent I was on getting across the finish line. These days, it is my go-to bottom when my motivation is as hard to find as that wayward mitten.
What's your favorite or go-to piece of running clothing or gear? Let us know to throw your hat into the ring to win one of nine Headsweats Ultralite hats, a ridiculously lightweight lid that blocks the sun (we're talking 50+ SPF), wicks the sweat so your eyes don't become repositories for your sweat and keeps your noggin' cool, thanks to an inner liner and two mesh panels made of Coolmax.
Plus, it's way cuter than a faded Twins cap...hmmm, thinking maybe I found my new lucky hat?
Congrats to the following ten winners--and nice split between wingers and planners--who will be soon sipping from a GoLite HydroClutch:
1. Karen: In my life I am an over-planner, however in running I am a winger. When I first started “running with the girls”, I had no idea how far we were going, where we were going or how long I would be. I just “followed the girls”. Whatever they did, I did. I think that helped me with my running. I just go out and run, sometimes a short one and sometimes I am gone for a while. It seems to balance me out. I plan all day at work, I plan when I am at home, so when I hit the road it is a nice break to just “run”.
2. Elisa: I am mostly a winger as I usually want to see how I feel that morning but try to plan the night before.
3. Jess M.: I plan my work… and then work my plan!! In fact, I’ve started to slack lately so I just signed up for my Spring Half and working on “the plan”.
4. Jennifer F.: I am a planner and I have to go for my run early in the day (like before 11am) or else it hangs over my head for the rest of the day and I don’t feel right till I get it in. I like to run where I know – to the point where I will run the race course the weekend before so I feel prepared. I absolutely plan my races as well. I plan the race, the whole training schedule and my calendar around it. After having back surgery and then 3 kids in 4 years, I never thought I would be dedicated to it, but I am. I love running.
5. Julie B.: Neither really. Would like to feel like I can set a plan but am pretty flexible to when, where, how long and if plans change. Yet, don’t randomly run for the sake of running on the spur of the moment. I do motivate myself by usually waking and dressing in workout clothes so that I can get out for a run if time allow but it’s not always a guarantee.
6. Jackie R.:I’m a planner! I wish I had more of the “winger” spirit in me–I think it would make life a lot more fun. But I’m a down to the half mile kind of gal. Always run according to the plan; rarely more or less.
7. Karen M.: I am here to represent the wingers! Before I became a mother, I was a planner. Now that I’m a mother, I’ve found that I just can’t be a planner for everything. If I insisted on being a planner for running, I’d end up frustrated and would never run any races! My running life is much like Dana’s a few posts above me. I’ve learned to love it! My only exception is marathon training – I have too much respect (uh, fear!) of the distance to completely wing marathon training!
8. Lori: Definitely a planner–hey I still have 5 kids at home, I’m a working mom and a homeschooler! Well…I guess that also makes me somewhat forced to be flexible and wing-it once in a while. And, I hide my bottles for running. If the bottle is older and less valuable to me I will let it float around the house so that the kids feel like they have found something awesome they would like to lose for me. The good ones–hidden!
9. Christine: I’m in-between too. I usually have a mile goal, but I occasionally add or subtract depending on how I feel. For longer runs, I plan the route, for shorter, I just head out the door and see where the mood takes me.
10. Dana DeBardelaben: I like to pretend that I’m a planner. I even have an automated training plan that emails me with the workout of the day!! I have gone one step further with it and purchased a training plan that would set me up for my next planned race-so the mileage and even cross training for x number of weeks pre-race are all figured out based on race day.
But….I have decided to stop fighting it and embrace my “wings”!! I AM A WINGER! I have signed up for races the day before (sometimes the day of)–the “only ” time I sign up in advance is if there’s a significant danger in it filling up. I usually decide on the number of miles I’ll run today based on who I’m running with, where I feel like going or how many I need to get in so that I’m increasing (or sometimes decreasing) my weekly total. (right now my next planned race is RNR (half) NOLA, but just after that I’m looking at a very tough 25K trail run–McKay Hollow– so I’m increasing my trail time but also getting in some road miles). I crosstrain if I’m hurting and feel like running would do more harm than good, other days (when I’m feeling spunky) I run then bike right after.
And yes, I’m like that in all areas of my life!! That’s why I don’t get as much done as my friend who keeps a spreadsheet of her day, but I have great fun, until I miss out on things I’ve forgotten or get overwhelmed because its time to run a half marathon and my longest run has only been eight miles because I didn’t plan (or follow the plan that was already in place!).
However, things generally work out just fine….plans stress me out every day, not having one (or following one that is there) just gives me moments of freak out!!
Winners/wingers/planners: please e-mail us at runmother at gmail dot com with "HydroClutch winner" in the subject line and your address in the e-mail, and we'll get them out. As with the other giveaways, let us hear from you within 2ish days so we know you're still out there. If not, we'll find somebody else to keep hydrated.