Martini Fridays: Of Old Shoes + Tutus

Goodbye, old pals.
Goodbye, old pals.

Race day for Adrienne Martini at the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon is getting closer, and on this episode of Martini Fridays, Adrienne starts thinking about gear.

Sometimes, I’m a little jealous of SBS and her best running friend Molly. While I do have lots of running friends (and, just for the record, lots of non-running friends), there aren’t any that I run with on a regular basis. Part of me wishes I had this kind of closeness with my own Molly. But most of me knows that running solo is one of my most favorite things ever and I don’t really want to give that up.

Which isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed the times I’ve run with other people. Like the easy three miles in Maine with my friend Quinn, who runs barefoot unless road conditions are dire. Or the four in Canandaigua with my friend Lisa, where the whole town came out to cheer us on when we were running back to home base. (Some have said the cheering was for the town’s football team whose buses were streaming past us on their way back from a big game. Harumph, I say. They just saw how fabulous we were.)

As pleasant as all of my partnered runs have been, my bread-and-butter runs—those everyday miles—are better by my lonesome. As much as I might play an extrovert in the classroom or in public, deep down, I’m not one. I need the times of not talking and of not interacting in order to be fully present in the times that I need to do both.

I was alone (but not lonely) on this past weekend’s long run. It was another ten miles through the countryside. I never, ever, ever though I’d ever refer to a ten miler as *another* ten miler, yet here we are. My mind wandered in indescribable ways during the run. It’s more like I spent the two+ hours rearranging all of my mental furniture just to see if there was some combination of sofa, end table, and wingback chair that was more aesthetically pleasing.

I also thought about tutus.

Tutus have been in the running news lately, for reasons I’m not going to rehash. I’ve been deep in pondering what to wear for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I’ve got the top half of my body worked out: my favorite sports bra and a Badass Mother Runner t-shirt. I’ll go visor or headband, depending on the sun. But it’s my bottom that I don’t know what to do with.

Yes, this has been one of my life’s themes. Bottoms are tricky.

My running skirt’s built-in spankies keep riding up, which takes it out of the *ahem* running. I’m wondering if it will be too hot for capris. I’d commit to shorts but don’t want to wear anything in a race that I haven’t already tested at that distance—and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be warm enough here anytime soon to go long in shorts.

The whole hoo-hoo over tutus made me feel like I should wear one, just to show solidarity for the tribe. But I’m not sure I’m a tutu gal. Plus, they look kinda scratchy, if truth be told.

It was right about here in the ten-miler that the “snail” started. “Snail” is a term my daughter coined to described that pelty snow/hail mixture we get in the early spring. All thoughts of tutus tata’d from my head during that last mile through the snail. This winter has been a party guest who just refuses to take the hint, even though you’ve turned out the lights, shoved it out the door, and crawled into bed.

Compression gear always brings the sexaay.
Compression gear always brings the sexaay.

Once I got home and finished muttering, I slipped on my sexy new compression socks, because nothing says HOTT like knee-high nylon orthopedic gear. I’m not abundantly certain they helped—my angry calf grew quiet before I bought the socks—but I was able to stay on my feet for a fundraiser that night where I had to play Vanna White to an auctioneer’s Pat Sajak. Fortunately, I was wearing pants, so that no one was overcome by lust upon seeing my socks.

This coming Saturday—otherwise known as “tomorrow” by the time this is live—marks the last of the long, long runs. It’s slated to be 11 - 13 miles. I’m going to shoot for 12, which means that I’m also going to need to plot it out on a map because I don’t have a go-to route that is easily extended that far.

I’ll have to set off on this run without one of the companions who has been with me throughout this training. No, not a BRF but my pink and navy Brooks Ghost 6 kicks, who have had to be retired after many months of excellent service. I’ve long felt that there should be some sort of Viking-style funeral service for dead running shoes but am fairly certain that setting them ablaze on an ocean-going raft is a bad idea on many different levels. They will be missed.

Fortunately, I’ve been alternating them with a blue and yellow pair of the same shoes. I’ve added a new pair to the rotation. Sadly, it’s the same color scheme because the running store didn’t have anything else in my size. I might have to take a marker to the heel somewhere so that I can easily tell them apart for the bleary morning runs.

Because I can’t keep track of anything anymore, I’ve taken to marking my shoes with the date they are added to the shoe stable.
Because I can’t keep track of anything anymore, I’ve taken to marking my shoes with the date they are added to the shoe stable.

I have already marked the new shoes—and pass this along just in case you tend to forget when you’ve bought each new pair. In order to avoid that moment of “how long have I had these?,” write the month and year of purchase on the tongue in sharpie. These will forever after be known as “4-14” and will join their sisters “1-14” in the rotation. Welcome, 4-14! May the odds be ever in your favor.

21 responses to “Martini Fridays: Of Old Shoes + Tutus

  1. Run strong, Jenny Breen!

    Just as an update, I’ve ordered a Sparkle Skirt and will see how it goes. What sold me were the pockets. Why is it so hard to put pockets in women’s running gear?

    And on the Sharpie fix for dating your shoes, sometimes the ink bleeds onto your socks. My socks never look all that lovely and one more stain doesn’t bother me. You may feel differently.

  2. I totally get what you are saying….I too lament not having a BRF, but kind of know inside that I really prefer/need to run alone. I am 10 days out from Boston right now, and off for a lovely, solo Friday run, complete with compression socks, and NO tutu.

  3. I have a tutu that I wore for a GOTR 5k, but I think it might annoy me for a long race. I just got a sparkle skirt to weat over capris or long compression shorts for my upcoming half. It’s cute and seems that it might be pretty comfy.

  4. A- I love ALL your posts, this one is particularly timely! Love your idea on marking your shoes, mine are now tagged with “3/2014”. I, like you, enjoy the solitude of solo runs and many times its just what my mind needs. I find social media sites like Facebook and Strava help fill in the gaps of accountability and comradery. But nothing can replace the miles put in side by side with a friend down Main Street in Canandaigua. I do wish for more 4 mile runs with friends.
    Skirted capris are my choice of bottom, with skirted shorts a close second, and Brooks running pants for the wintery weather. I especially like what Skirtsports offers. The shorts don’t ride up for me. And the pockets are perfect for lip balm, keys, phone, ID money and gu. They have a “261” line that I find very empowering and plan to wear for my May races.
    Tutus and sparkle skirts are fun and have helped me PR recent races. There’s something to be said for running for the pure fun and joy of being able to run!

  5. I’m currently 4 months pp and preapring to run the Divas Half in SC. Since I have not fully regained my running groove I have focused this race on my gear. Shoes check, socks check, Garmin double check. And for the bottom I’m doing the lululemon skirt (tall). I found it to be no more pricier than the other brands and the fact that it came lomg was a no brainer for me. My problem is the top. If I go with a fitted tank and pass a crying baby on the streets my boobs may explode but if I go woth something loose and baggy I run the risk of being uncomfortable. Suggestions?

  6. It took me a long time to find a running skirt where the shorts/spankies absolutely do not ride up. I found two and I love them both.
    * Sparkle Tech skirt. Oh my, the pockets on the leg are so awesome!! They guarantee that the shorts won’t ride up.
    * Athleta Relay Skort – The nice thing about Athleta is if you try it and don’t like it, they will take it back no questions asked)
    Neither is cheap – but to me, it’s worth the $50-$70 to find something I love than to keep spending $20-$30 on Target/TJ Maxx versions that I don’t like and can’t return after I wear.

  7. I’m getting a new pair of Brooks adrenaline today, it’s been one year and 255 miles, it’s time! If I had the money, I’d get a pair of compression socks, maybe soon.

  8. I ran the Pittsburgh Half in capris last year. I was absolutely FREEZING at the start but about 2-3 miles in I was exactly the right temp. Truthfully, that was – hands down – the best running experience of my life (it was my first half, so I didn’t have lofty goals and the weather was picture-perfect). I had on a short sleeved tee on top but another mother runner let me borrow a hoodie until the race started. I have never been so thankful! If you can find one to toss, that’s the way to go (a lot of folks do this and I’m pretty sure there’s a group that rounds them up and donates them afterwards, at least in PGH).

    I would love to find a running skort that has shorts that stay put. Sigh. I’m cheap, though, so I’m sure there are some that are pricey that might work. It just stresses me out to spend big $$ on something that might end up in the Goodwill bin. I mostly wear my current running skirt OVER capris (no riding up and it covers the essentials).

  9. Hi Adrienne, I enjoy reading your posts! I, too, am training for Pittsburgh (the full, though) and your posts are helping me to stay motivated! I’m looking forward to this weekend being the last “long” weekend. Bring on the taper. When you decide what to wear, I think you should post a picture of yourself in your outfit so we can look for you and cheer you on during the race!

  10. I so enjoy these posts. I am a capri girl all the way – even in the warmest of DC summers. I pair them with a tank top or short sleeve tech tee frequently as I like to wipe sweat on my shoulder while running. The head sweat visor doesn’t capture it all when it is near 90 and humid. I don’t do shorts and I have ventured into the skort arena but the shorts ride up as well. So the one I have, while super cute, is more for strolling around town with a running stroller doing errands on the weekend. Best of luck with the long run and I am sorry to hear about the retirement. I too wear Brooks Ghost and loved the pink color so much that I had my local store special order them for me and I bought multiple pairs. I hope you enjoy the new color scheme. I am secretly waiting for purple.

  11. Lucy skirts have served me well, and the shorts are long enough and stay where they are supposed to. My one complaint is the butt pocket is a too small for both gu and an inhaler. Regardless of what you wear, you will rock this!

  12. So, what did you decide for bottoms? Tutu or no tutu? Personally, tutu’s are to girly for this mother runner of 2. But I love me some Sparkle Athletic skirt. Easy to match with any top and shoes and can be worn with capris or shorts. I have worn a Sparkle skirt for 4 half marathons and love it!!

    Go with what you are comfortable wearing and rock out these last few training runs, you are almost there!!!

  13. I just changed shoes this week. I was alternating between two pairs of shoes & they each reached their maximum mileage and were hurting my feet. But I was excited b/c my new shoes are neon green! 🙂
    I struggle with what to wear on my lower half during runs/races, too. I can’t do running skirts or even shorts b/c they always end up riding up or bunching, and though Body Glide helps with chafing, the logistics of constantly pulling fabric out of my nether-regions is uber-frustrating. So I always run in long pants or capris. I live in the south, where the summers get hot & humid, but I have found that as long as I have on a sleeveless shirt, my legs don’t get too hot in capris. I don’t wear a tutu, but I do have a simple Sparkle Skirt that adds a little bling to my lower half. It’s not bunchy or itchy; I never even know it’s there until spectators scream, “I LOVE YOUR SKIRT!” 🙂
    That last long run before a half always strikes fear in my heart, no matter how many times I do it. But the feeling I have when it’s finished & I feel adequately prepared for my race is *such* a high.

  14. I want to have a Viking funeral for my old running shoes! They deserve that noble send off! Thanks for that awesome visual 😀

  15. I favor running skirts over tutus. Rock City Skirts are super cute and not itchy. I only wear skirts at races. It’s my way of celebrating the hard work that has gotten me to the starting line! I wear capris year round. I’m trying to find shorts that I like for this summer but my quest has been unsuccessful so far.

  16. Hey, you should check out the Lululemon running skirts–they come in tall and the liner shorts do NOT ride up at all. They are all I wear when it’s “shorts” weather. Sadly they have discontinued many of the styles I liked and now they are more ruffly, but they are so comfortable. I am a trail runner and there is just something fun about getting muddy in the trails with a skirt! On another note, I just signed up for a trail running camp in Estes Park, CO this July with my friend (47 year old mother runners). So excited, but I would love to hear tips on acclimating and running at altitude as we will be culminating the weekend with a “Run the Divide” from Bear Lake to Grand Lake.

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