At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious (© Basil Fawlty) it’s been hot over the last few days. Not just the sort of hot where it’s really just a bit warm but we do that optimistic, British thing of pretending it’s hotter than it is, but properly hot. Hot like on your summer holidays abroad hot. By and large we like hot and all that goes with it (sunbathing, drinking Pimms, eating ice lollies, having barbecues etc.) so hot is a good thing… except for when you want to go running. Then it’s a sticky, sweaty, bad thing!
Obviously the best way to overcome this is to put on your shorts and vest and go out early or late in the day when it’s not so hot. But here’s the thing… even when the weather’s boiling I still see lots of women wearing capris, long tights or (last Sunday) thick jogging bottoms. As far as I can work out the only reason for this must be that they think they’re too fat/white/dimply to wear shorts. This never happens with men, who seem to wear shorts all year round with no trouble at all, whatever they look like. Most of them seem to view it as a sign of weakness to wear tights, even in the depths of winter! It’s just we women who’ve been conditioned into thinking we mustn’t display our bare legs unless they look like Elle McPherson’s. And as only 0.00001% of us actually have legs like Elle McPherson’s this has to stop.
Obviously I’d love to have legs like Elle’s, but as God saw fit to create me a short ginger rather than a willowy beach goddess, I’ve come to accept that this is now unlikely ever to happen. But I don’t see why I should be condemned to having an unpleasantly sweaty lower half when I run just because this is the case. Running is about feeling happy and carefree, and it’s difficult to feel that way when a pool of sweat is gathering around your lady parts. Comfort is paramount, especially on long marathon training runs! So I guess what I’m saying is please don’t feel you can’t wear shorts just because your legs aren’t perfect, because very few people have perfect legs. If people look at you when you’re out running they probably aren’t thinking “My God, look at her fat legs” but rather “Good for her, I wish I could do that”. I’ve decided to make a point of wearing shorts whenever it’s warm enough now, because if a woman in sweaty capris looks at me and thinks “Well if she can wear shorts with her pasty stumps, I certainly can” that would make me very happy.
So remember girls, you are entitled to wear shorts for no other reason than you are a runner, and that automatically means you are fabulous and look great. Just do it! Enjoy your summer running – be comfortable and carefree!