When I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa back in 1997, one of the first things I started to notice along with my decreased vision, was my loss of the ability to perceive colors the way I used to. I was having trouble differentiating between the darker colors, such as dark greens, blues and blacks. As time went on, I lost even more color receptors, and I needed the help of others to tell me what color different clothes were.
I learned this the embarrassing way. Well embarrassing to me anyway, as being color coordinated has always been important to me. I had bought a pair of what I thought were gray pants, only to find out many months later that they actually were olive green. I had been wearing a lot of red with them, and was convinced they were gray – at least until T pointed out they were green. I said, “No way!” But then, holding up a gray shirt to them, I could see that they were indeed green! So now when in doubt, I ask “What color is this?”
It was not until after my dad passed away that I really started gravitating towards the color red. Red was my dad’s favorite color. Mine had always been blue. But it was becoming increasingly harder for me to see all the different shades of blue. Red however is still a very bright and vivid color for me to see. So at first, quite unintentionally I started buying more red everything, from shirts to shorts, to earmuffs and scarves. Even a bright red winter coat! I’m sure it’s because it is the one color that really does catch my eye! Soon my closet began to fill with brightly colored red clothing – not necessarily a bad thing as I look pretty good in red.
But not only did I like to wear red, I started buying T red clothes too! When she wears her red shirts or hooded sweatshirts I can find her a lot easier in crowds, and it’s harder for her to sneak up on me! She will usually wear red when I am running in a race, making it easier for me to find her after I’m done running. But to be honest, she usually finds me first!
Not only do I love the color red now, it never fails to remind me of my dad, and that always bring a smile to my face.
Okay here’s something you may not know about me unless you’ve been following all of the posts. I love running clothing, and will buy something new for myself anytime I can come up with an excuse to do so! It doesn’t even have to be a good excuse or a new one…I’m not too proud to use stale, bad excuses when necessary.
I have tried (but not quite succeeded yet) to get every color available in both tops and running shorts. It’s an ongoing project, but a fun one…everyone needs a hobby, right? And you should see me stylin’ when I’m running in my orange running shirt and orange running shorts…in fact you can’t help but see me….I’m nearly neon at that point. I’ll have to see if I have a picture to show you…
Vision Runner in Blazing Neon Orange Running Clothes
I do feel it’s important to be comfortable while running, and certainly color-coordinated as well. Not only does it make the experience of running much more enjoyable; the appropriate running clothes are important for body temperature regulation: to keep cool in the hotter months and warm during the winter months. Not to mention compensating for changes in humidity and wind chill, etc.
When I decided to train for my first marathon, it was the beginning of a new year, 2007. And that meant I had to start my mileage build-up in January. I definitely needed winter running apparel. Fortunately, that winter was a mild one.
Most days I could wear a short-sleeved running shirt with a lightweight running jacket and tights. I always wear a running cap and on the cooler days, gloves. The cap serves a dual purpose: to keep the glare out of my eyes and on cold runs, to keep the heat in. The gloves usually get peeled off about half-way through my run. There were a few times running when I needed to wear a fleece hat, but usually only when it was windy out.
I discovered that a lightweight running jacket was essential for running at that time of the year. It not only kept me warm, but it was vented so that I didn’t overheat during my runs. I’ve heard that running causes the temperature to feel 10 degrees warmer. Before I had my running jacket, when I would run in colder weather, I’d wear a long-sleeved running shirt. But this wasn’t a great strategy as I was starting out my runs feeling cold, and then, once I did start to heat up, pushing up the sleeves just didn’t do the trick to cool me. By having a vented jacket, now the moisture wicks away from my skin, and I don’t get chilled during longer runs. Since I hate to be too hot while running, it’s nice that I can take my running jacket off if I get overheated, and put it right back on once I start to cool off.
We have very low humidity in western Montana, so if I’m running when the sun is out, it can heat up fairly quickly, even during the winter. Even though I would get warmed up in the sun, it was important for me to note that when running at temps below 45 degrees F, I needed to be wearing running tights. It is important to keep your leg muscles warm. Even though I might sometimes get a little too hot when wearing the tights, I found my recovery time was much quicker, and I was not as sore the next day. My main problem with running tights is that I just don’t have as many colors to choose from as I do in my selection of running shorts. I suppose that’s okay, cause I only have one running jacket. So what’s the point? I simply learned to be content to just wear different colored running hats.
I did have to be careful though, because spring in Montana could bring some unexpected, very nasty weather. It only took getting caught in a spring snowstorm one time for me to realize that even though the day might look nice to start with, I was running for 2 to 2 ½ hours at a time. A lot can happen weather-wise during that time. As they say in Montana, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes.”
I ran long training runs with my friend Vickie riding her bicycle along with me, and it was easier to start off with a lot more layers of running clothing. As I warmed up, I would shed an item of running clothing, and she would tuck it away in a saddle bag. I was doing a lot of my long runs during that unpredictable spring weather, so having her there alongside me for my long training runs made it easy to be prepared for whatever the weather might bring. Thanks, Vickie!
Of course, my favorite season for running is summer: primarily because most of my running clothes match that season. As I said before, I hate to be too hot while running, so my running shorts for the most part tend to be the kinds that have a generous runner‘s split up the side to allow me the most comfort and the coolest run. But I also have quite a few longer length running shorts that are good for cooler mornings or late spring days.
Okay….so maybe I have gone on a bit too much about running clothes, but my point is this: when running, I want to be smart about what I wear. So by having a lot of choices of what to wear, I never have to worry that I don’t have the right piece of running clothing. That’s how I justify it anyway
I check the conditions, and dress accordingly. And while I’m at it, why not look my best? Wearing nice running clothes makes me feel better about myself. After all, I work hard for this body!
So the three C’s of running clothing of critical importance: Comfortable and Color-Coordinated….
I'd like to donate a cuppa coffee to Vision Runner, as I understand that all that running and writing requires a great deal of strength and energy and focus......
I'd like to send Vision Runner $10.00 so that she can get a gift card for her favorite coffee establishment.
I'm feeling very creative and I don't want to be inhibited by someone else's choices. I'm going to pick my own dollar amount...cause what if I want it to end with 46 cents or something?
What about me? I need some for me..... (Go ahead. Order some for yourself, why don't ya?)