Last weekend, I ran a 5k with 600 others in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. It really seems like it ought to be a standard summer pastime, but many non-runners I spoke with were surprised by my desire to pay to run a race I knew I would not win. Furthermore, as a runner I am not in it for the speed- my father will gladly remind you that he can probably still beat me in a sprint. But I run, nonetheless, and enjoy the simple pleasure that pounding pavement with my running sneakers brings.
There was something else special about this race– It was a ‘skirt-chaser’. This means that the women, the skirts, got a 3 minute head start on the men, the skirt chasers. While I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of being called a ‘skirt’, I was excited to try out my new running skirt that came along with the entry fee.
I really, really do not like wearing pants. I can’t figure out if it is a fit thing or if I just have fallen out of love with trousers, but I spend most of my time in skirts of one form or another. After reading a lot about these fabled running skirts, I was dying to try mine out and actually wore it underneath my dress while at work on the day I picked it up.
It was much shorter than many skirts I usually wear, but it had a light pink set of shorts sewn in, that felt like second skin. In my skirt, I was comfortable, cute, and ready to kick booty. Many will tell you that running skirts have ‘revolutionized the way women run’, and although I fell instantly in love, I have yet to see many other women sporting these adorable alternatives to other more common running attire. However, I highly recommend them for any age of female runner.
The other great part about this race is that the women started as a mob of skirted heroines. Nearly 400 of the 600 racers were female and almost all of them were wearing running skirts or dresses. I felt as if I was in some fantastic club as people stopped to stare noticing our skirts as we ran by.
What I am learning as I travel less and work more is that you really have to find adventures and escapes of your own, in your current location. If that means skinny dipping at the pond behind your house, then so be it. For me, running has become a way I escape the skyscrapers of Chicago. In part because of my running skirt and because of the miles I’ve put on those sneakers, I feel strong while I run and ready to take on my next adventure.