When I first started running, my clothes lacked a certain elegance. Okay, they lacked any elegance. I wore a cheapy £10 pair of trainers, a pair of thick heavy tracksuit bottoms and a thick heavy hooded fleece, under which I wore a normal cotton t-shirt and under that I wore two normal bras at the same time. I did eventually upgrade to some proper running shoes and a pair of running tights after plucking up the courage to go into the Runner’s Need near my workplace and I bought a couple of sports bras on eBay.
Most of my early sports bras were the crop top type but they seem to have gone out of fashion and since then they’ve been made of a variety of clips and straps and stuff that I can’t do up, so my usual method of putting on a sports bra is to do all the clips and straps and stuff up and pull it over my head, crop top stylee. I’m sure that’s the best way to damage a sports bra but needs must and all that.
I do have one sports bra that has a zip up the front and you’d think that would be super simple to put on but that still requires a certain amount of tugging and pulling.
Recently, Berlei sent me a running bra to try. It looked so pretty and unsportsbra-like it stayed in the packaging for a while. The bra also didn’t look like it was up to much support-wise as it just looks like and does up like a normal bra. Still, I eventually put it on and gave it a go. Despite its flimsy looks, it has all the support you could want. It’s also as simple as a normal bra to put on and is so comfortable, you don’t even feel it’s there when you’re running. There is also a matching pair of knickers and I was going to post a selfie when I remembered there was already a photo of me modelling the set on the Berlei website.
The Berlei underwired running bra is £32 and the matching knickers are £16. Both are available on the Berlei website in a range of colours.
I have real trouble finding decent running socks. My favourite are my Reebok ones but they’re so old and hard now, they can almost stand up by themselves and are only my favourite because they a) fit; b) don’t give me blisters; and c) don’t fall down at the back. I bought a few pairs of Puma which were supposedly in my size but are way too big; other running socks I have either give me blisters or are too short and fall down at the back into my trainers.
So, hurrah for The Sock Mine. The Sock Mine are a family-run UK-based manufacturer and have just launched a range of technical running and cycling socks. And guess what? Yep, they fit and they don’t fall down into my trainers and they don’t give me blisters and they’re comfy and they have that left and right thing going on which only serves to make me spend more time than necessary putting socks on as I try and remember my left from my right.
I wore my running socks again today (I use the word ‘running’ loosely) and they still had that soft-and-clean-new-socks feeling (although anything has a soft-and-clean-new-socks feeling compared to my crusty old Reebok socks) despite having been through the washing machine.
If you’re into your technical blurb that accompanies a lot of socks, you’ll find plenty on the Sock Mine website. For example, these Cool Runner socks “provide soft cushioning in major contact areas, whilst the moisture management system from the COOLMAX yarn wicks away moisture from the skin leaving feet comfortable and dry”.
There’s even a little diagram for people like me who, when they see the technical blurb, actually see, ‘blahblahblahstuffnooneunderstands’.
Ah, it all makes sense now.
As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged for a while and you also may have noticed that the last time I blogged it was about how I didn’t run the Reading Half Marathon, only turning up for the important bit, i.e. the drinking beer and eating pizza bit.
As you may also know, I have a move to the countryside coming up and whilst thinking about things like letting my house out to women with kids (kids? In my house? Eek.) and telling the mortgage company and the insurance company and the TV/broadband/phone company and the Inland Revenue and the gas and electric companies and countless other companies (do I need to tell the man in the local off licence to tell his kids not to expect any Christmas presents this year due to Santa’s profits being hit?) it occurred to me that I’m going to need some posh new running gear so people in the countryside don’t think that Londoners are a bunch of scruffs.
So what do I buy to impress the countryside people? Do they even care? If I buy green will I look like a tree and run the risk of having a dog wee on me? And what size do I get? I’m going to have lots of running time on my hands (or should that be feet?), so will I run so much I’m going to shrink to a size zero? Ooh, I hope so. Or maybe I should get a size 14 as, as well as having lots of running time, I’m also going to have lots of time to explore the new fridge and its plentiful supply of chocolate that I know lives in there. Or maybe some hi-vis gear due to the fact that I’m going to have to run on the road (or lanes or whatever it is countryside people call that three foot wide long bit of concrete they drive down) and risk getting run over by a tractor.
Maybe I’ll just stay here where it’s safe and there’s less likelihood of being weed on by a dog or run over by a tractor. But then where would my excuse for buying new clothes come from?