I hate running on the treadmill. When I do it, it feels like I am not making any progress. And it can be boring. Sure, there are televisions on the gerbilmills at my gym, but it gets tough to use them. Especially if I have to run longer than three miles.
In essence, I love to run outdoors. And the shorter days and colder temps of winter makes this hard to do. That is where one of my favorite stores comes into play.
Last week, Fleet Feet Chicago held its fourth annual fashion show. Fashion show you may ask? Yes a fashion show. And the clothing featured served the purpose of looking good as well as keeping a person warm during winter weather runs when you don’t happen to live where it only gets as cold as 50 degrees.
I think most of the time when people think fashion show, they are envisioning clothing that most likely will not actually fit a normal person and will cost an entire year’s worth of salary. This fashion show was different. The clothing featured served the purpose of allowing me and other outdoors runners to stay warm in the soon to be plunging temps as well as being visible on those all too frequent dark days.
As I was watching the clothing modeled, all I could think was “I really want that.” There wasn’t too much that was shown that I found to not be my style or would work for getting and keeping me running all winter long. My favorite item was this jacket by Nike. This jacket just looks way cool in how it lights up when it is hit by light. There is almost no way you can’t be seen when you have to fit a run in during the early morning or late evening hours. There is a men’s version of this jacket as well.
There is a hat that has this reflective material, though it doesn’t look as good for winter running as other hats I might use are. If that material ever shows up on a beanie-style hat, I may be the first in line to get it.
Other than that super cool jacket, there were products from Mizuno, CW-X, Pearl Izumi, Adidas and other companies. Seeing what they have for winter is kind of fascinating in that it is amazing how far clothing and technology has come when it comes to running. Imagine a few years ago wearing a shirt that while it wicks away moisture, also raises the temps so you never feel cold? Hard to imagine, but this technology exists now.
Of course, there is also that little problem of being seen on dark days. I never had to deal with the headlamp for running in the dark, but I am sure there are people who remember them. Now, we can just get reflective attire and little lights to wear on our gloves, etc to be seen by cars at night.
One thing that I really appreciated that Dave Zimmer and his wife Lisa (sorry if I got your name wrong!) did was to have models of all sizes and shapes modeling the clothes. Sometimes – ok most times – magazines and others who are showing clothes for a particular sport only show models who are of the ultra-thin variety. Most people don’t look like that. And when models of the ultra-thin variety are shown, I think it can be discouraging for those who don’t fit that body type to think they can do whatever activity those clothes are for.
There were people of all sizes who modeled the clothes at the Fashion Show at Fleet Feet. Not only that, but all the models were people who run. I think this is important because it shows that anyone can do these activities. We also got a bit of information about what the models did and while there were some people who had done numerous marathons, there were also some who had just started out running. Again, kudos to Dave and Lisa for getting a variety of people to show what is possible with running.
All in all I just don’t have any excuses to not go running this winter. And I look forward to those runs when it is just a little too nippy for others to brave the elements. Aside from the great workout, it will also give me an excuse to have a great cup of a hot beverage to enjoy post run.
As the motto of Fleet Feet Chicago is “running changes everything,” it was so nice to see them doing things to show this can and is the case. Now to get some more winter attire and hit the streets this winter. And to look forward to the spring fashion show from Fleet Feet Chicago.
Now to sweet talk someone into getting me that Nike jacket as a gift . . .