7am Right. Finally found a decent length running skirt and today’s the day it gets an airing. It’s a North Face one so the slightly traily Osterley parkrun seems a good testing ground.
7:03am Oooh, pretty new running kit!
7:30am OK, this feels fine. Under shorts are riding up a bit more than in the shop but that’s ok, it’s not a problem.
7:25am This is fine when walking along as the skirt bit is the same length as normal race shorts. Its a little breezy, but fine.
7:30am Bus is here! Lots of blokes on this bus. OK, I don’t feel like I’m getting funny looks on the bus, but then I have donned my ‘yes I’m a real runner’ armour of club top and fancy new Gore running jacket to look like I know what I’m doing. Also the bright blue compression socks do pull focus a bit.
They could all just not care less of course. Let’s assume it’s that. My socks are pretty cool though.
7:35am OK, I do feel a bit too exposed when sitting down on the bus, the front part of the skirt is quite small. But I guess they’re not made for sitting, so I’ll just put my bag on my lap and not worry about it.
I really need to moisturise my legs.
7:45am Oo-er..it’s a bit chilly around certain places when standing about on the tube station platform! The under shorts are more mesh based than I’m used to – I wouldn’t anyway but best not to go commando in this skirt! Actually the nice thing about wearing a skirt with built in shorts is that it’s easy to get access to pull them down when they ride up :).
8:10am Nearly at the park. Not sure if the under shorts are actually properly covering my bum. I hope it doesn’t look like those girls in denim shorts with their bum cheeks hanging out…this seems to be a Thing now and always bothers me because on the one hand it makes me think I wouldn’t have been allowed out like that in a month of Sundays and would an inch more of short actually be too much to ask, but on the other hand girls and women should be free to wear what they want….but even being generally socially liberal is it ok to draw the line at actual bum actual hanging out?! They need a little bit of lace or something.
8:20am Maybe when I get there I can run up and down a bit and see how it feels. I wonder if it’s acceptable parkrun etiquette to distract your mate from Run Director duties so they can see if you’re decent.
Might be a bit weird.
I’ve had weirder running conversations though.
8:30am Quick trip to the loos. Why are there no full length mirrors in this National Trust facility?! Don’t they know runners need to check the length of their skorts, for crying out loud?!
Ah, ok, so this does look a bit on the shorter side here than it did at home. Warm up leg swings should be interesting.
8:50am OK – dynamic warm up and bit of a jog done and it’s fine. There seems to be a critical mass type balance point for the riding up and the skirt part doesn’t flap about in the wind in the slightest. Modesty seems to be covered.
8:55am Should I have changed into my back up shorts?!
No. It’s fine. Too late now anyway. Just style it out.
9:00am This might be a good time for that ‘fake it til you make it’ faster pacing strategy. Noone cares if your bum’s out anyway, just get on with running.
9:29am The strategy worked! Whilst testing out my new bit of kit I ran 28:33 for Osterley parkrun (official time), which is the fastest I have run 5k since June 2016.
I’m not going to give the running skirt the credit for the pace, but it certainly didn’t hinder me. Overall I like it. It’s nice for something a bit different and I like the look of it. It was neither better or worse than normal shorts; although I did feel a bit exposed in it to begin with by the time I’d run about 100m it was clear it wasn’t going anywhere so I could just concentrate on running. I’ll stick to shorts for longer runs and races I think, but it’ll do nicely for parkrun and XC season when worn in conjunction with a bit of confidence and a lot of bodyglide!
And, of course, with bright blue socks.