ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

Train Like a Mother: Outtake 2

So many options, so little time: you have to get off your feet, right?

And we're off with round zwei of the Train Like a Mother blurbs from your excellent surveys that couldn't fit in the book. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, check out the intro to this post.

Take It From A Mother: Have you ever bought something at a race expo and worn it on race day?

“My husband bought me a Bondi Band headband, which was a life-saver since my hair was too short to pull back in a ponytail. Plus, it made me feel sporty on race day, which was encouraging: It was my first race after giving birth.”
—Tyler (can’t run on a treadmill. “Something about it messes with my head.”)

“I bought Yurbuds at the expo before my second half-marathon. Until then, I had never found earphones that would stay in my ears. I love them.”
—Melissa (fears snotrockets in races. “I hate running in someone’s blind spot.”)

Brought to you today by the color orange. And availble for pre-order at Amazon.com.

“At my first marathon, I bought a water belt. I got rid of it halfway through the race because of chafing.”
—Kelly (has been a runner since freshman year of college, eighteen years ago. “Exactly half my life.”)

“Yes: a bra. Somehow I forgot to pack mine and at a 32DDD a bra is a must! Actually, I loved the one I got. I wear it a lot.”
—Amy (her husband says her foam roller makes her moan more than he does. “I think he’s a little jealous.”)

“A visor that says ‘Run, girl, run.’ It held my sequined mouse ears in place for a Disney race.”
—Jill (has severe endometriosis with a "crippling” period and ovulation. “The only reason I can run is because I have a Mirena IUD that prevents me from having my period.”)

“I bought salt capsules at my last half-marathon. I’d never tried them before, so I was kind of worried, but they turned out to be a life saver eight miles into a mountainous course.”
—Betsy (favorite tee: one from the 1991 Willie Nelson “This Ain’t No Picnic” 10K for Farm Aid in Austin. “I didn’t even run the race—it was a gift—and I simply love it.”)

“I bought waist thingy, and it bugged me the whole race.”
—Kristen (wore a cape and knee socks in the Bolder Boulder 10K, which did not bug her. “The PBR [Pabst Blue Ribbon beer] and doughnuts along the course slowed me down, though.”)

“I’m too superstitious to buy anything new for a race.”
—Jill (can’t do podcasts on a run. “Yeah, I’m a 30-something, minivan-driving doctor mama who loves hip hop.”)

“Yes, my SPIbelt. I’m a diabetic so I need to carry a glucose meter on my long races. It was a great investment.”
—Jen (tracks her race times on, “an Excel spreadsheet of course, with the PR’s highlighted.”)

“I bought a badass mother runner shirt at the Philadelphia Marathon. So fun to bond with others wearing it on race day!”
—Heather (Patrick Dempsey on the tube always keeps her on the treadmill longer than she plans)

Have you bought something at the expo before the race and worn it on race day? And how'd it work out for you? 

(As always, bonus points in the game of life if you add an extra random fact about your running.)

48 responses to “Train Like a Mother: Outtake 2

  1. I’ve done it a few times – I bought a spi belt (great investment that I use often), a cold weather cap (ugly purple, but another great investment for a 26 degree race) and arm warmers (I took them off at mile 2 and managed to lose one).

  2. Bought a SPIbelt at the St. Pete Women’s Half in 2010 and wore it the next day and loved it! I am always on the prowl for a great shirt at expos–I have a thing about not-too-long tech shirts so I’m Princess PickyPants when it comes to putting together my race outfits. Will look AGAIN for the perfect shirt and probably pick up another BondiBand when I hit the St Pete Rock n Roll’s expo in 2 weeks.
    Random: “Car Talk” is my favorite podcast for 1/2 marathons! I know nothing about cars–nor have I learned anything–but Click & Clack provide the perfect funny distraction and I can just get into a zone. 🙂

  3. Bought a bondiband and wore it at a half marathon the next day. It was great! Random fact: I am absolutely neurotic about how tight my shoes are tied on race day. I cannot tell you how many times I tie and retie my shoes before the gun goes off. They have to be JUST right and equally tight 🙂

  4. My first “big” race I did buy new shorts and a tank because I wanted to be somewhat patriotic and I had nothing… both ended up working for me though – but I don’t really chafe ever. I also bought my first Bondi Band at an expo before the same race (different year) because I needed something to keep the sweat out of my eyes – and it was love at first race!!! I now have a drawer FULL.

    Random tidbit: I have a sick fetish for theme races/dressing theme-y and wanting everyone I’m running with to match or coordinate on race day. I’ve even been known to ask people to dress similar on group runs.

  5. First, Love the pic from Twin Cities Marathon Expo with the plug for TNT in there to boot! 😉 (I will get you ladies to TCM if it is the last thing I do this year!) 🙂 🙂 I hope that didn’t sound stalkerish.
    Secondly – Heck NO! I would never – unless it was something super essential that I forgot – buy and use something new in a race. I’m also one of those that gets super bugged when I see people wearing their race shirts IN the race they are running.

  6. I’ve never worn something from an expo because I’m too paranoid, but at the 2011 Oakland Running Festival 5k I watched someone stop and yank off a pair of expo-purchased socks. How bad could they be in a 3.1 mile race?

    Weird running fact: I run without music, not because I prefer it but because you can’t wear headphones with Team in Training and now it feels weird to have them on. I need John Cusack following behind me with a boom box (and if that didn’t reveal my age, I don’t know what does!)

  7. Cruising throught the expo before the Savannah Rock n Roll, I impulsively bought a RnR visor. I wore it the next day at the race, and I’m pretty sure it has super powers!
    (I’m a run-walker… and I’m kind of okay with that.)

  8. I picked up a pair of capris to go with my running skirt before the Shamrock 10K in Virginia Beach last year. I heard it was going to be a bit cooler than normal, but didn’t expect 30mph headwinds and a temp of 28 degrees at the start! I also pick up gu or those powerbar gels whenever I get a chance, they’re just too expensive to buy them at the store.
    Random running fact: My breath control is horrible, and running with music distracts me long enough to get through a run.

  9. I bought some yurbuds at an expo and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Never wear any other earbuds running or in the gym!
    Random: any routesI run longer than 4 miles MUST include a toilet at mile 4. My body just knows…its kinda freaky.

  10. I bought a pair of compression (?) capris and they were great! I PR’ed in them, so now they are my lucky running pants. 🙂

  11. The only thing I bought at an expo and wore the next was a pair of white cotton throwaway gloves–later I found a place that was giving them away for free! I did throw them, a few miles into the 2010 Twin Cities Marathon, at a child near an aid station (I was sort of aiming for under the table). Got a 25 minute PR that day–hope I didn’t throw good luck away!

  12. Yes. My last half marathon in Dallas… I traveled there from Chicago to run it with a friend. And I forgot my running capris! I had no back up (my friend’s non-running dad asked if I could just wear my jeans!), so I bought some running tights at the expo – got a great deal on them and love them!
    I’m a posterchild for change – I went from being a non-running sleeper-inner to running three halfs in less than a year, training at 5 a.m. in the Chicago cold.

  13. A sweaty band at last year’s Army 10 miler expo (awesome, works as advertised). I’ve bought a new spi belt at an expo when mine went AWOL during packing for a race and I PR’d in a brand new skirt sport (I owned others) last year.

    Random fact about my running – running without my Garmin makes me twitchy but I do it anyway now and then to remind myself that I don’t need it.

  14. I haven’t bought anything from a race expo for race day but I do have a habit of buying some new gear in the week leading up to a half marathon. I know it’s a bad idea to wear anything that hasn’t already been tested, but long distance races are like any other special occasion and require new outfits. I’ve only run two half marathons and I wore new shorts one time and a new running skirt the other. The shorts caused chafing and the skirt was too big that I lost probably 3 minutes trying to use my bib safety pins to keep it up once the pockets were loaded with gummy bunnies. 🙂

  15. At Disney Princess last year, I bought a sweaty band. I wore it, and I think it looks horrible on me. One of my little ones came to the expo with me, and outside pulled apart a pod from a tree and gave me a little handful of beans. I carried them in my spi-belt the next day, not sure why, but I still have them. That’s my favorite expo find.

    Randomness: I have been accused of carrying a small grocery store with me on long runs.

  16. I’ve purchased yurbuds @ Vegas, my first LARGE half marathon, they work great, even if you put one in the wrong ear 😉 (I always run with one in the ear, one tucked into the bra strap so my ears are still open)

    I’ve purchased my Injini toe socks, though I didn’t wear those race day, and I’ve purcahse

  17. Bought a pink shirt at the expo ($10 rack — say what!) to match my compression socks that I brought with me for the marathon. I learned in high school soccer that matching on game day always makes you perform better. Don’t ask questions. It’s an unwritten law of the performance universe. And in my every-day life, I rarely match — and only sometimes manage clean clothes.

  18. I bought a race belt for all my gu, etc before my first marathon, but to prevent my panicking from changing things up decided not to wear it. I stuck with keeping everything in my handheld water bottle

    –I am a creature of habit when it comes to my running. I always eat/drink the same thing and dress pretty basically. I know what works and stick to that.

  19. Wahoo! At least one of my quotes made the blog 🙂 I’ll take it. Can’t wait for the book to come out. My race expo purchase is on here already but did want to add that I have gone to race expos for races I wasn’t doing (mainly picking up packets for family/friends) so I could purchase stuff there. I think they are a great one stop shop for all things running.

  20. A spibelt – hot pink, bought at the MCM expo and worn for the race. It was fantastic, but later wore it during the NYC marathon and since the weather was cold I was wearing a far too large LS tee and the belt had the effect of making me look way too matronly. I am small and the only Autism Speaks team T they had left was a very generous Medium. Random fact – I have tried but I cannot sing while running. It comes out as grunts.

  21. I’ve only bought Gu and a Bondi Band at expos and used them the next day at the race. But I’d already tried them out previously.

    I’m listening to the Harry Potter book series when I run. I know I’m a little behind on the phenomena but I was ahead of the game on The Hunger Games series (read the first 2 books before the 3rd came out, then read the third one, and I’ve listened to all three on runs since them).

  22. I bought my SPI belt the day before my first marathon. That was my plan. I do long runs with a fuel belt, so I was used to having something around my waist and it didn’t bother me at all.
    Random running Fact: My running buddies all call me “Windy” due to my ability to keep on talking during long runs, no matter how hilly or hard!

  23. Just a red, white, and blue Sweaty Band for the MCM this past fall. My son picked it out and was very excited when he saw me wearing it during the race!
    Random running fact: I only learned to blow snot rockets in the last 6 months, and it’s probably the one running-related skill I’m the most proud of! I used to carry around a travel pack of tissues, which earned me the nickname “the Quartermaster” from my running partner (I carried a bunch of other crap, too), but now I’m lighter and still snot-free! On a related note, he thought it was hilarious to yell “Fire in the hole” every time I blew one during the MCM!

  24. I actually just did that at the Houston Marathon. I bought this pouch that slips over the waistband of your shorts and can hold an iPod touch and a hotel key. It was great–less chafing that I usually get hooking my little iPod shuffle on my shorts band.

    I wish race expos happened sometime other than around races!

  25. Shoe inserts. Oh, I knew the perils of doing a half marathon with new inserts in my running shoes, but I hadn’t gotten comfortable anyway so I figured what the heck??!! Fleet Feet was helpful. It didn’t go badly – nothing traumatic and not worse than my regular inserts. Down the road a piece I found shoes I liked more. It wasn’t the insert I was struggling with it was the shoe. I’ve bought bag clips for my belt and headbands but if those are annoying it’s not as big of a deal. I also got an entirely new outfit once and wore it. After all the agonizing about what to wear I bough something…. That was back when I didn’t have much though. Now I have an entire dresser dedicated to running clothes

  26. I bought a pair of thin black running gloves. I wore them in my first half marathon but stashed them in my pocket half way through the race. Random running fact: my first race ever was a half marathon in Central Park. It was such a good experience that it ranks right up there with marrying my husband and giving birth to my kids.

  27. Like Jen, I picked up a SPIbelt at Boston and absolutely loved it. Typically I’m superstitious about wearing anything I’m not familiar with but in this case it worked like a charm. And I shaved two minutes off my previous Beantown time!

  28. UGH–I made the terrible mistake of buying compression socks at the Boston expo and wearing them for the first time during the race. I knew better, and I paid the price–had to wear flip-flops to work (as an attorney!) for a week afterward because of terrible blisters!

    Random: Despite the socks, I PRd! No pain, no gain! =)

  29. I bought a pair of Zensah calf sleeves before a half marathon (with bridges) and wore them race day. Saved my legs. The race was a hot mess, for me, but my calves were soothed.

    I also bought my 1st sweatyband before the Women’s Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. Wore it during that race and was totally hooked. I have quite an eclectic collection, now.

    Random tidbit: A 10k race is my favorite distance. They’re few and far between, though, so I have to settle on mastering the 5k and half marathon.

  30. I’ve bought body glide, gu, and a shirt. I didn’t run in the shirt but I wear it all the time now.

    Random tidbit – I have to wear a nike sweatband on my wrist to keep my garmin in place cuz my wrists are so freakishly small.

  31. At my 1st double digit race expo, I bought the belt thing that zips up to hold my GU. It worked out good but have since upgraded to my beloved Nathan’s double flask belt. Random fact- I sprinted the last quarter mile of my 1st marathon while listening to theme song from Rocky.

  32. My husband bought me a pair of newtons..pink of course..the day before my Ironman..I wore them during the race..not sure if they helped our hurt my performance.

  33. I bought the Brooks tech race t shirt at the Mardi Gras half last year and wore it to run. Loved it! Also bought my first sweaty band to wear at the MCM 10K.
    A friend of mine bought a skirt at the half and it was horrible for her. Chafed the whole way.

  34. Body Glide. Bondiband (but I already had one, I just needed a *new* one. Or three). The only truly new thing was Zensah calf sleeves – I had a pair that I’d worn for recovery, and I’d worn their socks while running, but not the calf sleeves.

    Random fact: my last two 5Ks were the exact same time result, down to the second, on totally different courses (also a PR – so frustrated on the second one that I couldn’t eke out another second faster!).

  35. My last tri of the season was a few hours south of where live, so we had to pack all my equipment and stay at a hotel. I realized when I got there that I had forgotten my biking/running shorts! The expo was so tiny that they didn’t have any clothing vendors. We found a running store about 5 minutes before they were going to close, and I grabbed the last pair of almost-too-small shorts. They worked just fine, but it was a solid hour of panic beforehand.

    Fun fact: my playlist only includes ‘girl power’ songs, sung by girls. It starts with cheesy tunes by Hannah Montanna and the Cheetah Girls, and moves in to Beyonce and Britney. The songs must be listened to in the same order for every race, and will play about 3 times for a half marathon. The OCD me finds it super soothing. 😉

  36. Compression socks. They’re black and I looked twice as pale. Not convinced they’re all that, but I bought them from a vendor who has won the Bolder Boulder 4 times! (Arturo Barrios) How could I go wrong? 🙂

  37. I bought a iFitness belt thingy to hold my new phone. It worked great and my hubby was able to call me right when I finished to see how I did. He was at the airport leaving for a business trip. While I was talking to him – I (a.k.a. space cadet) walked right past the ladies handing out our medals! Once I realized I didn’t have my shiny prize, I had to weave my way back through all the finishers to pick mine up! 🙂

    **During runs where I’m feeling like a slow-poke I crank up Linkin Park. All their angry yelling gets me moving again!

  38. I bought arm warmers at the expo of my first marathon. The plan was to wear them to the start and toss them to my friend. I never saw her & ended up with them the whole race, but they were fine (& an extra Gu holder.) Had a weird tan line on my left arm all summer- it was on the sun side the 2nd half.
    Random fact: I rotate 3 pairs of running shoes. For some reason I started thinking it was keeping my plantar fasciitis from coming back and just kept doing it.

  39. The only thing I have bought and used on race day is my shot blocs. They are often cheaper at expo so I wait and get them there.

    Random fact: I’m very superstitious. I do everything in the same order and wear similar clothing for all my races.

  40. The heart running skirt from RunningSkirts before the Princess Half Marathon. I wear there skirts at all of my races so I wasn’t worried about the fit. It turned out to be a bad race for me and I have never worn the skirt again.

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