I apologize for the graphic nature of the following post. Hopefully it will help someone who is considering the merits of the run skirt. Or it will make someone laugh. I’m good with both options. Also, I am writing this on my phone on a bus to Chicago.
I bought a short, black running skirt over a month ago and hadn’t mustered the courage to wear it, so I gave it a test drive yesterday. Our run was four miles “easy,” and Emily and I were doing the group route but starting later than the actual group run time. I thought, hey this is the perfect opportunity to have a wardrobe malfunction, as I’m comfortable with Emily and there won’t be a pack of people around. I deliberated on underwear versus none, as there are fitted shorts with a cotton crotch built into the skirt. It’s funny that a significant part of my tri training has been to learn which clothes are appropriate with underwear and which should absolutely be worn without. Learned my lesson the one time I layered underwear and bike shorts. Never again.
I skipped the underwear with the run skirt. That is not a natural impulse for me, but it seemed the underwear might make the skirt ride up, and no one wants that. I also applied some chamois cream to my thighs, heeding a warning from Summer about chafing in shorts or skirts. My go to gear has been calf-length leggings, so I haven’t had to worry about any of that mess so far.
Those early morning runs are difficult enough that I didn’t notice significant skirt problems for the first mile or two. Still not sure why a 6.45am run remains excruciating–my pace demonstrates the struggle–while an 8am run is often glorious. From the beginning I did note that I could hear my thighs slapping together. While that’s not my favorite sound, I wasn’t too freaked out as my focus was simply to keep my body moving. Around the mid point I recognized a fearful sensation.
Let me just say that I am a well built lady, and I am not hating on myself, but my thighs will never be called demure. For some reason, the build of my body defies the wear of any kind of running short without an excess of tugging and bunching and just general discomfort. This is why I was willing to try the skirt; I thought it might be different.
As expected, the undershorts rolled up a bit. What I did not expect was the searing pain that accompanied almost instantaneous chafing. Attempts to adjust the undershorts proved fruitless. Emily was gracious and kindly walked with me several times while I tried to minimize damage. At the end of the run, (and, yes, I did finish, albeit slowly) my inner thighs were a raw and blistery red. It hurt even to drive home.
In the midst of the incident, I had irrational thoughts that my “injury” would interfere with training in the near future. Fortunately, that was just silly. A warm shower and gently applied lotion helped immensely. No serious damage done.
But ladies, how do you do it!? A number of women in my group use the running skirts without self-sustaining injuries, and I would really like another clothing option for the hellish heat that is looming. The only change I can think to make is trying a much longer skirt/short combo.
Take this as a serious warning about the running skirt!