The color of running


I am head over heals in love with running clothes. Bright orange tech tees. Purple socks. A periwinkle blue “technical base layer” shirt. Technical base layer? Who would have thought I would ever be the kind of person who would need a “technical base layer?”

Then there’s the fabric. The fabrics of my real life are mundane, routine. Denim. Polyester. Cotton. But in my secret identity as “runner” I wear exciting cloth with exciting names: Merino wool from Australia. Compression Lycra. Moisture-wicking nylon. Gortex. All I need is a cape to complete the feeling that I’m running in a super hero costume. Except a cape would create drag and slow me down, so forget that.

This is my first experience owning exciting athletic clothes, and I’m basking in it. Sure I’ve had athletic clothes before. I’ve got plenty of bike clothes, but let’s face it, except on those svelte professional riders, bike clothes do not look all that great. My second son cowers and declines to be seen with me in public in them.  My first son refers to them as “my ridiculous outfit.” But running clothes? Nobody ever makes fun of those. Do Usain Bolt’s kids make fun of his clothes? Well,I don’t even know if he has kids, but if he did, I’m sure he wouldn’t get any grief over his running unitard.

The best part of running clothes is the tech features. Running shirts are not just tees. They have panels and gussets and inserts designed to lessen drag, support muscles, and wick moisture. My sports bra has angled layers to get the job done. My base layer shirt is designed to keep me warm under the top layer while wicking away moisture, and has handy slits that let me pull the sleeves down over my hands, but still see my watch. In stark contrast, my everyday clothes sadly lack special features, and often disappoint.

If (when) I get to the point where I can no longer run, I will mourn the loss of my running clothes. I could be like those aging senior citizens who wear jogging suits as everyday wear, a little blue-haired woman with a gaudy necklace and jaunty scarf  made to match my zip-up sweats. But then I’d have to drive a Buick and live in a senior citizen compound, both of which I’ve already sworn to never do. For now, I’ll delight in my tech outfits, and savor every day that I’m able to don and use them.

What is your passion of color and fabric?

Title IX turns 40


I grew up before there was Title IX, graduating from high school the year before Title IX became law. What was it like back then (okay, way, way back then) for girls and women in average small town America? Where I lived, there were no high school sports for girls. If you wanted to “play” a sport, you could be a cheerleader. Except, you had to be cute, little, peppy and popular. That left out me, and most everyone else.

What to wear? There was very little sports apparel made for women. No sport’s bras  – not invented until 1975, and not perfected until much later. No athletic shoes – unless you count good old canvas sneakers, aka Keds. The only women’s sport’s apparel widely available (besides those darn cute cheerleader outfits) were for sports that highlighted individual women, who needed to look good while playing. You know – tennis, golf, swimming. Individual sports that required fancy equipment and lessons, so not open to just anyone.

Even though many of us did not benefit from Title IX in childhood, we all benefit today. Now women’s athletic gear is widely available to everyone, from  the pros to the weekend warriors. I even have a women’s specific bike AND a women’s specific tire pump. Women can compete in most sports in the professional and amateur levels. Women are no longer relegated to just being peppy cheerleaders, that is, unless they want to.When you watch the Olympics this year, think about the US women competitors who benefited from Title IX.

Huffygirl, all decked out in women’s athletic gear