Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fashion Fitness Hacks---'Fessing Up



It's time to come clean on a some things. Time for Keeping It Real. Time for a few more of my  Runfessions!

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a color freak. And, admittedly, I have a keen interest in fashion.

But, I have three kids, two of which are in college (and one of them is graduating in a week!). I have a rather large house that is not 100% paid for (and is impossible to keep clean, by the way). The husband and I enjoy having a social life, and that doesn't happen without spending a few dollars on fun endeavors with friends.

I also enjoy running, and we all know running does not come cheap. The biggest running expense for me is racing, particularly race registrations. I've been doing half marathons since 2008, and in the past few years I have ventured into the marathon arena. I'm also embarking on my second Ultra in July.....and the bigger the distance, usually the bigger the registration fees (#ka #ching).

Running gear is also a hefty, though quite necessary, expense. We all probably remember the first pair of running shoes we purchased...did you do a nervous gulp as you handed over upwards of $100 (or more) for a pair of shoes you wouldn't even be wearing every day? (I did!)

So....... how am I able to do these expensive events and not file for bankruptcy? It's simple....I have some fitness fashion hacks. Here are a few of them (in no particular order):

Arm Sleeves.... Have you seen or tried these little beauties?  They have all the warmth off a long-sleeved top without the under-arm bulk. I wear them with tanks for most of my races because it's usually my arms that are cold at the start of a race (not my entire torso). They are easy to slide off (and tie around my waist) if I get too warm. And they are very colorful!
Aren't they funky-cool?
I have some that were won (door prize), and a pair that I purchased at an expo. I think they cost $25-30, which may seem pricey, but I probably wear them at least a couple times a month. If you don't want to spend the money on arm sleeves, you can make your own from knee-high socks. For the Des Moines Half Marathon last October, I bought a double pack of socks at Walmart, for less than $5. My original plan was to cut off the feet and use them as "throwaway arm sleeves." Well, I liked the color and pattern so much, I still have them. They have been washed & worn several times since.

Look closely....see the frayed edge of the sock on my wrist? 
Modify and Get Crafty ...Do you love the graphics/color/theme of a favorite event, but not too crazy about the event shirt? I am a bit of a snob when it comes to fit. I don't want things sagging and bagging on me. A lot of events still have the dreaded unisex shirts (which, in my opinion, do not look good on anyone). Even when a women's cut is offered, though, it usually is still "boxy" and not as fitted as I would prefer.



My solution? Modify and get crafty. If it's tech fabric, it usually will not fray if you cut it. I have cut many of my event shirts into tank tops. At the very least, I usually cut out the neck and make it into a scoop neckline (which is much more flattering than a generic crew neck). Want some step-by-step instructions? Follow this LINK .

From boxy t-shirt to scoop-neck tank with a racer back!
Kinesiology Tape is your friend. Hate the look of an ugly PF sleeve? Tape your foot instead! Last summer, I had my first-ever experience with Plantar's Fasciitis. YUCK! I bought a special compression sleeve, and it worked great...but it was SO ugly! I discovered the magic of taping while at the Grandma's Marathon expo when one of the vendor workers taped my arch and heel. It felt just as good as the sleeve, but was much less conspicuous. Also, the tape stayed on for several days at a time (and didn't need constant laundering). This might not work for every person (or every injury), but I was relieved to have another way of dealing with that bothersome injury.


Compression Sleeves. Do you have a favorite pair of capri's that you hate to put in storage in the winter? You could do what I do: wear them with compression sleeves on the bottom. They don't necessarily need to match, but it's not too hard to find sleeves that will (at the least) coordinate. Also, I have worn compression sleeves under full tights for really long runs on really cold days.
It's kind of hard to see...but these are capri's paired with "tie-dyed" sleeves
Shoes.... Not happy with the color selection of your go-to running shoe? Fix it, swap out the laces, or Sharpie-up the soles. It's really that simple. I even wrote a blog post about my obsession with colorful shoes (here's the LINK ).

Confession...not one of these shoes is sporting the original laces that came with them
Here's a bonus runfession....Have you ever been unsure about race day gear? Too cold in a tank, too hot with an extra layer? Consider throwaway arm sleeves from old (ugly) knee-highs (my husband has a stash of old crew-length socks). And keep a few pairs of throwaway gloves from the dollar store in your stash of gear. (you're welcome)

How about you? Do you have any fitness fashion hacks that have worked for you?

I'm linking up with Marcia from  Marcia's Healthy Slice for the Runfessions  link-up. Head over and check out what everyone is runfessing about....




















24 comments:

  1. Great ideas. You are so resourceful and creative, I admire that. LOVE the idea about how to create arm sleeves. I don't have a pair, and have never tried them but probably should. I get so annoyed having to run with my jacket tied around my waist...

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    1. I LOVE my arm sleeves, the "real" ones and the DIY ones ;-) I still sometimes sport the waist-tied top layer (that's been shed), but the arm sleeves definitely are a great option for those in-between temps.

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  2. Arm sleeves are my "thang". Love them. It takes me so long to get my shoes tied just right, I'd never attempt to swap the laces. But, I do love the idea of adding that color. You know, I'm a color gal just like you! My DIL wears nothing but gray and black and off-white, as well as the rest of her generation. Live Life in Color, I say!

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    1. What is with all these peeps in black? I want to gradually add more arm sleeves into my running repertoire ;-)

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  3. It never occurred to me to MAKE my own tanks! Great idea! I never wear short sleeve race shirts. I have 2 pairs of sleeves and they're both black. Can you say boring?

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    1. I don't care for short sleeve running shirts either, even the fitted ones. And if they have a crew neck (which is MOST of them), ugh. I have had to take it upon myself to rectify this problem (in my own way).

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  4. These are some great hacks! Unfortunately I am not very crafty, so I don't see myself redesigning a crappy unisex shirt (though I wish I could!). I do love the idea of making your own arm sleeves! I have one pair but haven't worn them in a long time!

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    1. Whoever had the crazy idea to invent arm sleeves should get a gold star. They are a perfect solution for me!

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  5. I love the idea of cutting a shirt into a tank. I am goign to give that a shot, i have too many heavy boxy shirts.
    Socks for arm warmers to throw away are perfect, that is great tip!

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    1. I'd love to see how your shirt-to-tank project turns out! I hate the boxy shape of most racing shirts ;-(

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  6. Haha! I think we are sisters from different misters! I love color too and I love arm sleeves because I can only run in tanks! My favorite sleeves are from Louva. They have thumbholes!

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    1. I don't know if I've seen the Louva brand...I"m gonna check them out! Thanks!!

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  7. The running world needs colorfully clothed people to balance out the more ninja-like colors people like me choose! I did request pink, purple, and turquoise running shirts/tanks for Mother's Day, though... baby steps! :)

    Great sleeve and tank hacks!!

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    1. Thanks!! I love color (#artgeek #colorfreak), but I have found it's a lot easier to spot myself in race pics if I'm wearing a funky color (or color combo), and it's easier for others to find me for meet-ups, etc.

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  8. I am a DIY arm warmers kind of gal. Usually I just raid my husband's sock drawer and toss them as I go. Worked for me in Big Sur!

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    1. I had seen the DIY arm warmers awhile ago...but they were for "ugly" socks. Lately, I'm seeing the over-the-knee socks (in funky colors/patterns) and my "a-ha!"lightbulb went off ;-)

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  9. Great ideas! I do like to keep my shoes and compression socks colorful, but I never thought about colorful arm sleeves before! The only ones I have are just plain black.

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    1. I love the arm warmers, and I think they add a funky "fashion" twist to running gear.

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  10. Awesome and helpful ideas .

    CONGRATS ON THE COLLEGE GRAD! !I am not creative enough to think or make things.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, a college grad....HOW did that happen????

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  11. I made arm sleeves with socks last year for the Marion arts fast half, but then it was warm enough that didn't need them after all.
    I don't mind my PF sleeve lol. I tried tape for the MAF half and it started to come off half way through the race...

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  12. These are great tips and I had no idea about the tank one!

    I've done the sock/arm warmer thing. They can even double as gloves if you don't cut out the toe portion! You get some really funky photos, though, lemme tell you.

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  13. You are super crafty! I am going to make a pillow out my super boxy cotton series shirt I just earned :)

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  14. I love the idea of making knee socks into sleeves!! I'm going to give them a try! Thanks for sharing!

    My sisters like to cut their race shirts into really funky things, I gotta give that a try!

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