This morning I did the Susan B. Anthony 5K here in Sacramento. It was put together by Buffalo Chips, our local running club. It was also a women-only race, and was sponsored by Skirt Sports. In case you haven’t heard of this company: They make running skirts. The first time I saw a woman running a race in a skirt, I thought to myself, “What the heck?! Who runs in a skirt?!”

But the more I began seeing it, the more I began wondering if there was something to it. I’m not a fan of running in shorts. I have big thighs (still gotta work ’em off) and they end up rubbing together and causing the shorts to bunch up, which isn’t super comfortable. Then if I wear shorts tight enough to not bunch up, all of my fat hangs out the bottom and is overemphasized. Super not cute. So I usually run in capri running tights. So I signed up for this race pretty much just to get the free skirt. After all, I wasn’t willing to pay some $50 just to try it out.

The verdict: pretty comfy. I was a bit self-conscious running in a skirt – a pink one at that – but luckily there is a pair of running shorts attached (so, really, it’s more like culottes). What I liked most was the pocket for my iPod with a small hole through the skirt for my headphones to fit through. I’m not sure I’m a convert, but I’m glad I gave it a try. The shorts underneath still bunched up a few times, but not nearly as badly as some other shorts I’ve tried to run in. Plus, the material was super soft so it wasn’t as irritating.

As far as the running went I did OK. This was my first run in nearly four weeks (25 days). My leg has been feeling pretty good for about 5 days now, but I wasn’t willing to risk injuring it again before a race so I still stayed off it this week. And I was right to do so because it’s been aching terribly all day now. I’ve iced it and am hoping it won’t get to the pain level I was in a few weeks back. I finished in 34:21, which is only 20 seconds slower than my last 5K before the shin splints. Also, this was the gun time, not a chip time so I think I actually ran faster (actually, I know I ran faster because I was late to the race. When I crossed the finish my iPod read 4.9 KM at 32:45 – I ran .1 KM before I realized I hadn’t pressed play).

Even though I had a good time, I didn’t have a great race. At mile 1 my legs felt like Jell-o. They were definitely not used to running. And the stress from waking up late and almost missing the race made me run faster in the beginning than I probably should have, especially considering I’m injured. It was a bit disappointing because it made me feel as though I’ve got some major catching up to do if I’m going to do this half marathon in October. Even worse, it made me think I may have to put it off until next year.

So what I decided is I’m going to give my leg a rest day and some ice, then I’m going to start running one or two miles every other day. I hope if I take it slow during the week and just add mileage one day on the weekends I can still reach my goal of getting to 13 miles by October. On the plus side, grad school starts in three weeks and I’ve signed up for a swimming class twice a week so I’ll be forced to include cross training instead of pusshing myself to run too often. Hopefully that will help.

Also, if you’re interested in trying out the running skirts, there’s a sweepstakes at the Skirt Sports Web site. If you enter, you could win a free running outfit and maybe you’ll be the next running skirt convert. 😉