Early this morning, with sun streaming through my windows and coffee, coffee, coffee on my mind, I looked to the bright sky and beautiful forecast for motivation to get my first post-marathon run on. I’ve been itching to run, yet I also have found my body has enjoyed these more restful days. In other words, it’s been easier (and more fun) to simply SIT in the sun rather than think about actually GOING for a run in the sun. My lounging has been helped by fantastic weather, allowing for outdoor dinners every night on our deck. Man, do I ever love summer in Michigan.

Taking some time off completely from running is good for me. I have needed to let me body recover from Saturday’s race. (I so appreciate everyone’s varied thoughts on returning to running after a race – if you haven’t seen these, check ‘em out on the MRG Facebook page.)

But today, with the promise of such a gorgeous day ahead, I decided to go for a nice and easy run with a couple of friends after our Pilates class. One friend confessed she hadn’t run in months, while the other was coming off of the Bayshore Half Marathon (where she snagged a 7-minute PR!). We all were fine with a verrryyy slow 4 to 5 miles through downtown and along the water. Jackie brought along her sweet dog Gus, a Golden who kept things especially light given he wanted to stop every now and again and check things out along the way.

It was a perfect first run.

I did feel a few tight spots, though, mostly in my right calf muscle. It’s interesting since this area didn’t give me any trouble during the race itself. But I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not until you take a few days off, then go out for that first run, when you notice the parts still in recovery.

Earlier this week I heard from reader Carly D., who asked about gear and clothing I wore during the marathon. She is training for her first 26.2 this summer (Go, Carly!!), and she is looking at getting a hydration belt with four bottles (rather than the one she has with two) and a few other items. She asked what I wore, and since others may be interested as well, here’s the lowdown:

Hydration Belt

Confession: I had not worn a hydration belt in a race prior to Saturday. I’ve always carried my fuel (in pockets or a waist belt that also holds my phone), and simply grabbed water cups at the aid stations. But a couple of weeks before the marathon, Katie told me she’d be wearing one with bottles for hydration, so she could drink when she wanted to and have her very own kind of hydration. This got me thinking. I wasn’t too excited about going out and buying a belt so close to race day, not knowing if I’d like it (Katie was borrowing one from a friend), and as luck would have it, Pam had one she said I could use. I took it for a test run a few days before Saturday, and was pleasantly surprised at how great it felt resting around my waist. It didn’t move around, didn’t feel strange at all. I decided to give it a whirl—and it worked out very well! I may end up investing in one. Or maybe just bug Pam to borrow it when I need it. Here’s a link to a similar hydration belt »

Compression Calf Sleeves & Arm Warmers

After last year’s Bayshore, when I experienced calf cramping in the final miles, I decided to give compression socks a try. I wore them for the first time—calf sleeves, not the full socks—during the Marquette Marathon over Labor Day weekend. I borrowed a pair from Krista and they worked great—no calf cramping and I loved that they were red. This year, I decided to purchase my own pair and found a fun hot pink color. The brand: CEP. Pam, who also wanted to buy a pair, found these at Road Runner Sports. (Aren’t running friends wonderful? They lend you gear and also use their special member discounts to buy you stuff.)

I again wore my beloved Brooks arm warmers, which I bought last year and wore for the 2013 Bayshore Marathon. Love, love, love these. When the temps are in the 40s, or even 50s, I really like having these arm sleeves. You can always roll them down to your wrists if you get too warm, but so far I haven’t felt the need to do this. You can find these at your local running store, or order them online at Brooks, if you like this brand, or at a number of different sites such as Road Runner Sports.

Testing out the new clothing. Love these shorts especially!
Testing out the new clothing. Love these shorts especially!

Running tank & shorts

Those of you who follow MRG over on Facebook know that I surveyed readers about what to wear on race day. I had picked out two tops –- a more fitted patterned one, and a looser-fit singlet-type Nike tank – and asked which one would be best. (You can see from the picture here which one got the most votes; I wore the outfit this day I took the picture on a “test” run.) I paired the winning top with shorts I found at TJMaxx the week before the race (I did a test run with these, too!). I absolutely adore these shorts, which I got for a whopping $14.99. Wow. What a deal. The brand is MPG (Mondetta Performance Gear) – can’t say I’ve heard of this brand before, but the original tag on them had a price of $48. I found the purple/black top at Target. Champion brand. $16.99. I also found a great spots bra – Jockey brand – at TJ Maxx for $14.99.

SO. Speaking of clothing. I made a mention this week of exciting things to come with MRG this summer, including collaborating with the ladies behind the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon & 5K. I’ll be revealing lots more over the next few weeks, but I wanted to give some detail about MRG products I have been working on and am excited to share soon. Truthfully, I’d love to get a little pre-sale feedback, too, if at all possible, so that I can offer the very best products possible.

The Plan: offer a few high-quality, stylish and comfortable Michigan Runner Girl clothing items, starting with a hoodie that’ll be perfect to throw on pre- or post-run, while watching the sunset at the beach, or when sitting around the campfire during camping trips. I love a good hoodie myself, which is why I thought this would be a great piece to introduce first. Other items in the works: an MRG lifestyle tee (something you’d wear doing everything things) and tech shirts that fit well and look great while running.

Please tell me this: would you like to wear MRG hoodie, lifestyle tee and tech shirts? These would be tasteful and high-quality – and they’d be another way to celebrate your healthy and active lifestyle in Michigan.

What specifically do you look for in these kinds of items? For example, I love a soft and cozy hoodie. T-shirts, tech and lifestyle, must be long enough to cover my tummy and not ride up, and I like a stylish women’s cut. I’d love and appreciate any and all feedback. [Note: I will have photos to share of product soon…stay tuned…this is a process. :) ]

Here’s the deal (a little incentive is fun, right?): For those who offer feedback (in the comment section below), you can get TWO MRG stickers for the price of one. Here’s what you need to do: 1.) please comment below with any thoughts. 2.) Head over to the MRG Shop page and choose the sticker of your choice. Just order one and you’ll get TWO sent to you. (And if you’re not interested in a sticker at this time but want to offer thoughts, that’s fine, too. Just go ahead and offer your thoughts below!).

MRG reader Courtney rocks her Michigan Runner Girl sticker like this. Love it, Courtney!
MRG reader Courtney rocks her Michigan Runner Girl sticker like this. Love it, Courtney!

Thank you, friends!

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28 Responses to “What to Wear: one-week-later running, race day clothing…and MRG stickers and gear!”

  1. Definitely interested in a Michigan Runner Girl hoodie. I already have a MRG sticker proudly displayed with my 26.2 :) But you can never have too much pride gear!

  2. I really like things with a feminine cut or slight taper to them. I don’t like any extra bulk from clothing around my mid-section when I run. I would certainly be interested in a piece of MRG clothing if you decide to have product.

  3. Tinna Thomas

    I would wear all three of those shirts. I would love a new hoodie for these summer nights as I already have two camping trips booked. I love the logo for the sticker…very pretty and feminine. I just have to say that you have inspired me to get moving over the last few months. I started running over a year ago but I felt like a sloth this winter and around mid Feb I started following you on FB and reading your posts motivated me to schedule my first race of the season and I finished 1st in my age group! I was so excited I’m now scheduled to race my first 10k on Sunday (Dexter-Ann Arbor). So thank you so much for being so inspiring and down to earth :)

    • Oh, Tinna, what a nice message from you. Thank you so much for the feedback and kind words. So happy you’re here and part of the MRG community!

      How did your 10K go this past weekend?? So excited for you! The Dexter-Ann Arbor run is on my list — I really want to run this one!

  4. Jen Kuzara

    I would proudly rock out a MRG hoodie and shirt. I’m with you: soft, cozy hoodie. I like my running zippy that has extra material for the hood, so when I unzip it lays flat and sprawls.
    I am a muscular runner and I hate ordering shirts in a women’s size only to receive it, try it on and look in the mirror to see Chris Farley in a little shirt.
    More realistic women’s sizes are key for me when it comes to tees. Soft, organic cotton is a plus!

  5. Brighid

    All of those sound great!! I would love to buy any one of them. I second your thoughts on fit, but please oh please for the tech shirts (if you can), don’t do that tiny v-neck that races usually offer on their women’s v-necks. For those of us who are a bit bustier, they end up looking very strange and top-heavy. It’s because of this that whenever I race I now ask for a men’s small, so I can ensure that I’ll get a shirt that looks decent on me. I do miss getting more fitted (women’s fit) shirts though! I’m so excited to see what they all end up looking like!

  6. Holly

    I love the idea of hoodies + shirts! I look for tops that are soft + women’s cut. I am done with t-shirts that have that boxy unisex look to them. I really like the fit + look of the Bella tees from AMR for the lifestyle tees. As far as hoodies….I like them all! Can’t wait to get one :)

  7. I would definitely order some MRG apparel. I LOVE your logo! I also LOVE hoodies and also have a hoodie addiction. I just finished my first half marathon a couple weeks ago. I’m also going to run the Chocolate Kono 10K run in Plymouth on November 12. My goal is to keep running through this winter because I usually fizzle out when it gets cold and then I’m so mad that I slacked off and quit and I end up gaining some weight. I’ve started to buy some warmer running apparel so I can keep warmer and motivated. My bro-in law Sam Durocher (your cousin) told me about you :)

    • Hey Cyndi!

      Thank you so much for your comment – and for your order :) It’s being shipped out today!

      Congrats on your first half marathon — that’s so cool! Which one did you run?

      I just met Sam for the first time this summer — what a great guy! Our families met up for dinner and we had a great time. I’m so glad he told you about my site. :)

      Heather

  8. Hi, I just came across your website and read this article on clothing, I JUST opened a ladies’ active apparel boutique by Grand Rapids. I sell MPG and have been impressed with the price point/quality.

    If you are ever interested in having some clothes made with your logo/design on it, checkout rungirlrun.com. I am a sales rep for them and you can get any of their styles custom made to your color/logos and you only have to order 24 of each style. Priority Health has done it with their leggings, having Priority Health going down the side. They are really happy with them. Anyhow, let me know if you are interested.

    I love what you are doing. Glad I found your site.

    Priscilla Hansma
    SheActive Boutique
    67 E Bridge St
    Rockford, MI 49341

    616-482-7721

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