Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Running Uniform

I have to say, it's a great time to be a runner. There are so many great things out there for us runners, from gadgets to shoes to clothes. In fact, that's what we're talking about this week's Tuesday on the Run: the running uniform. If you had to run in the same "uniform" for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Before I continue, I'm participating in the Tuesdays on the Run blog link up with My No-Guilt LifeMCM Mama Runs and Marcia's Healthy Slice. When you're done reading here, go check them out!

To be perfectly honest, I only really started to pay attention to what I wore while running after I had my twins. Yes, I always wore technical gear, etc. But my body changed so much with that twin pregnancy, all my pre-pregnancy running clothes didn't fit or feel all that well. I had a c-section with the girls and all my shorts had elastic bands and were really uncomfortable. That's when I discovered the wide waist band. I started wearing different running skirts and shorts that had wide waist bands and didn't annoy my surgery scar. But I was really self-conscious and just felt kind of lame in whatever I wore. It's hard to explain but I've always had body image issues and because my body was a lot different in places from my pregnancies, I just didn't feel comfortable in anything. It took me a long time to lose the baby weight and feel normal in this new body. My ribs and hips expanded with the twins, my joints felt weird and running was just strange for the first couple of years after they were born. So I just wore whatever felt good and just blended into the background.

After another couple of years of just wearing whatever, I started noticing all these new printed tops and fabulous patterned shorts and leggings. There was a lot of color everywhere. But I'd try on some here and there and just felt like a fraud. Loud colors were just not my thing because then I'd be standing out and all my self-consciousness would be front and center. Until I discovered Ink n Burn. I had noticed a couple of people here and there wearing these really interesting patterns and outfits. They intrigued me but I still felt that I wasn't worthy. I happened to be at my favorite local running (Running Center in Carlsbad) store, and saw that they carried some Ink n Burn stuff. Of course, I had to try some stuff on. And I was instantly in love. I felt really beautiful for the first time in a long time. I felt strong and I actually felt like I could pull it off and I wasn't a fraud. I bought the Paeon shorts, which are now my favorite shorts. All of their shorts have my must-have wide waist band but they are not mom shorts. They are cut so well, they flatter your figure. I kind of feel like a rock star when I wear them.

My uniform for the LA Marathon. Wildflowers everywhere!

Over time, I've made quite a number of purchases and their shorts and singlets are my running uniform now. They are well-made, right here in the US (in Orange County to be exact) and they are unique, exciting designs. Ink n Burn stuff makes me feel strong and beautiful. I feel invincible in their clothes and I don't feel embarrassed to stand out now. In fact, I want to show it off proudly, whenever I can. And I'm proud to say that I found out on Sunday that I was accepted as an Ink N Burn Ambassador!! So, I'm pretty excited, to say the least.

In addition to my Ink, I usually have a hat of some sort. I've been getting more into the trucker hat look, though I have a pin head and not all trucker hats suit me (they make me look like Elmer Fudd). I haven't made the complete switch to the trucker hat because of that.

My sports bra is the Moving Comfort Fiona. I always wanted to wear this particular bra but they didn't make them in, ahem, smaller sizes (if you catch my drift). I was stuck with the ridiculous bra that I had to somehow get on over my head and fight with to get in place. But when they started making the Fiona in smaller sizes, I jumped on it and have never looked back. The Fiona is so comfortable with the adjustable straps and regular hook-and-eye closure. It's like a regular bra. There's never a uni-boob and it's so freaking comfortable. Sorry, I'm not posting a pic of me in my bra.

I wear compression socks and sleeves every now and then, not every time I run so I'm not sure they are part of the uniform. When it's really hot out, the compression bothers me a little so I find it's better for after the run than during. I prefer Pro Compression socks and love all their crazy patterns and designs. But I do wear compression in colder temps, so they're part of the cold-weather uniform :) If I don't wear the compression socks, I typically run in Balega socks because they're yummy and fluffy. There's really no other way to describe them. They fit really well and feel really good.

Lastly, my uniform would not be complete without my Altra running shoes. The wide foot-shaped shoe suits me absolutely better than any other shoe I've ever run in before. I think my feet changed a lot with my twin pregnancy and every shoe I wore after they were born were too narrow. I really wanted to love Hokas but they just weren't wide enough. I tried the Altra Olympus and was instantly hooked. The Olympus are trail shoes and I just wore them for every run because they were so comfortable. But then I got the Paradigm (Altra's max cushioned road shoe) and now wear them for road and the Olympus for trail. And my feet are happy.

The Altra Paradigms (and Balega socks)

That's my uniform - a hat, Ink n Burn top and shorts, Fiona sports bra, Pro Compression or Balega socks and my Altras.



What would your running uniform be?

20 comments:

  1. Love love love my Altras! I have a pair of the Paradigm, but I prefer the other end of the spectrum - the Ones. Ink n Burn is so cool looking. One of these days I need to try them.

    And I'm totally LOL about looking like Elmer Fudd in the trucker hats. I do too, so I'm always bummed when I get one as part of an ambassador kit.

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    1. I want to try the Ones. They look so light and fabulous. And definitely check out INB. Their clothes just make me happy.

      I have trucker hat envy. I'll admit it.

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  2. I've admired InknBurn from afar but never tried it. I don't think its available in any stores around here. It has quite a fan base though and their designs are fantastic. Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Ink n Burn is definitely becoming more widespread. I bet if you pester your local running store to bring in a few pieces, they would :) Things sell out really quickly on the website so that's where local shops with hard-to-find pieces really make out!

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  3. I think you look fabulous no matter what you wear! xo

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  4. My running uniform is a SparkleSkirt, Raw Threads top and Pro Compression socks. I love SparkleSkirts because the shorts stay in play and don't chafe, plus there are huge pockets on each leg of the shorts and a big zippered pocket at the waistband. Raw Threads are made with bamboo, and besides being a renewable resource, it makes the clothing so soft, and helps prevent that funky runner smell.
    I have a couple of Ink n Burn tops and I love them. I especially like them for themed races when I want to run in 'costume'. Someday I'll find their BB-8 or R2D2 top for the star wars races.
    Jenn you always look great and are such an inspiration.

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    1. I think I have a top from Raw Threads. They are really nice. And I love your sparkle skirts!! You're an inspiration too :)

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  5. I love the few InknBurn items I have.(Which were also purchased at the Running Center in Carlsbad) They are pretty and make me feel great! I have tried the Sparkle Skirt on 2 long runs and am convinced they are a GREAT running skirt! I was able to carry a bunch of items and never felt bulky! Yes, Jenn you are an inspiration!!

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    1. Ooh I have to see which sparkle skirts you have!! You're an inspiration too, Maria!

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  6. Fiona FTW! Love that bra too- discovered it when nursing my daughter. And who doesn't love Ink N Burn? Such amazing looks.

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    1. I know, I wore the Fiona all through my pregnancies too. Such an amazing bra!

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  7. Ink-n-Burn's clothing look amazing! I really need to branch out and find some nice running clothes. Thanks for sharing your honesty about your body image. I haven't had children yet, but I'm happy to hear that you're now much more comfortable than you were a few years ago!

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    1. Thanks Janelle! The body image thing is always going to be an issue, but it's much better and I definitely feel good in my own skin again!

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  8. I do like my pro compression socks but I never where them during a run. I use them as recovery.

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  9. Love your running outfit! I am a fan of PRO Compression as well, especially all the fun designs!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! They definitely have some great designs!!

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  10. I keep seeing Ink N Burn ads on my Facebook feed. Their patterns are awesome. Glad to hear the quality is good, too. I may partake if I come across some locally (Michigan). Thanks for linking up!

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    1. I would definitely be on the lookout! Talk to your local running stores as they may be able to bring in some pieces. It can't hurt to ask!

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