What NOT to Wear: Mud Run Edition
Don't worry, I haven't gone all fashion bloggy like the reality TV show, What Not to Wear, on TLC. This post is not about trying to give the fashionably inept advice on what to wear. This is about giving mud run newbies advice on what NOT to wear on a mud run to avoid unnecessary hassles that can literally drag you down.
As the date gets closer and closer, I am getting more and more excited about the Pretty Muddy Mud Run in Dallas, TX. After a (not-so) brief running hiatus, I am getting back out there, building back up my running mileage, peppering in some strength training, and rolling around in the mud in my back yard (with Ollie, of course) to get ready for the mud run. Just kidding about that last part (as far as you know.)
So you are registered for a mud run, let's talk about what NOT to wear:
Stay away from all clothes that are made of cotton or cotton blends. Cotton absorbs water (and mud.) You will get muddy and the weight of the water and mud will absorb into your clothes and weigh you down, or even worse, weigh your pants right down to your ankles. No one wants that. Leave the sweat pants and sweat shirts at home. Think lighter.
Look for clothes with wicking properties (pulls moisture away from the body) and man-made fibers, like polyester and spandex.
Are you catching on to a theme here? Cotton socks will absorb mud and water, make your feet heavier than they need to be, and cause nasty blisters. Look for light-weight ankle socks made of any material but cotton. Knee socks are cute, but proceed with caution. If they absorb too much water, they can get heavy and end up like wet heavy donuts around your ankles. If you wear knee socks, be sure they are tight fitting (like compression socks) and made of anything but (yes, you guessed it) cotton.
Baggy clothes leave more material to get weighed down in the water and mud. Wear clothes that fit close to the body for the most comfort and least extra weight. I like to wear capri-length pants to protect my knees, as I will certainly be doing some crawling, where the first impact to the ground is my knees.
Leave the shiny new Asics at home and find the oldest rattiest running or hiking shoes you own (but not so old that they will fall apart or not provide the foot support you need for the run.) Most runs have a shoe donation at the end of the race, so you can kick off those shoes, that will feel like cement blocks at the end, and do something good for the needy. (Don't forget to bring a pair of flip flops for the drive home.)
Some might argue that sunglasses help keep the mud out of your eyes, and while that may be true, you also stand a great chance of loosing them in the mud pits. Expect to be completely submerged in water at least one time on your run. If you decide to wear sunglasses, be sure it is not a pair that would break your heart (or bank account) when/if they get lost in the mud pits.
Jackets with Zippers:
Zippers can get caked with mud and get ruined. Proceed with caution. If you wear a jacket with a zipper, be sure it is one you don't mind tossing at the end of the run.
While it may be a no-brainer to leave the bangle bracelets and fancy necklaces (or tiara) at home, it also may be a good idea to leave your wedding ring or any other meaningful piece of jewelry safe and sound in your jewelry box (or jewelry pile, as in my case) at home. I can't imagine anything worse that losing a sentimental piece of jewelry in a mud pit. It is better not to risk it.
I Have a Discount Code! YAY!
I have a discount code! Pretty Muddy is partnering with Susan G. Komen of Dallas County. From the site: "To kick off the partnership we will be giving away 250 free registrations to cancer survivors as well as $10 off registration using the code "KOMEN", plus $5 of every registration using the code "KOMEN" will go back to Susan G. Komen of Dallas County"
If you want to join my Pretty Muddy team in Dallas Texas on June 1st, just sign up under the team name "Running for Dummies Blog" at the 9:30am wave, we'd love to see you there!
Disclosure: I was provided a free registration to the Pretty Muddy run in exchange for blog posts about the event, but I am under no obligation to give them a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own, If I hated it, I'd tell you.
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photo credit: Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG via photopin cc