Run Like A Girl*

* Title shamelessly stolen from Heidi Phox, who’s blog post from 2013 inspired me to do the same.

I’ve written about combining Dee time with my out-of-town triathlons, and about going out walking dressed, but recently I took it to a new level for me.

Go St. Louis hosts annual Halloween 5K, 10K, and half-marathon races. I usually do triathlons, but I also run half-marathons, generally one in the spring and one in the fall. I need lots of carrots at the end of my stick, so signing up for races motivates me to run regularly to be ready for them. I have found the races don’t run themselves.

The race encourages runners to wear costumes, and a fair number of runners do. Two years ago I considered doing this race as Dee but never fully committed to the idea. With no race in 2020, this was my next chance, and I resolved not to chicken out.

My GG friend Michelle loaned me a pair of her Pink (the Brand) shorts that fit me, and were suitable for running.  I planned my outfit around the shorts and the color pink. I own women’s black running tights, courtesy of Costco (I thought about wearing the shorts only, but I looked better with the tights). For cooler weather, I also had a chartreuse long sleeved top that Michelle had previously given me.

With the basics in hand, I needed to go shopping. I bought a silver/gray sports top at Nordstrom Rack, and a chartreuse running cap at Kohl’s. I also bought a silver wig from a Halloween shop, to be more consistent with the color choices, but the strands wouldn’t stay in place and was driving me crazy, so I nixed wearing it.  I wore my old shorter wig. I also bought pink nail polish to keep with the pink motif.

Packet pickup was Saturday afternoon (the race was Sunday morning), and as I had a meeting of the St. Louis Gender Foundation afterwards, I decided to do the pickup as Dee (wasn’t an issue, even though I was registered under my guy name).

For our Gender Foundation meetings we reserve a hotel room as a change room (our meeting is in a conference room). I arranged to spend the night in the hotel room, to make getting dressed for the race easier (meaning, so my wife didn’t know I was going to do the race dressed).

Got up at 5:30 AM. I did light makeup; foundation, powder, Rouge, lipstick (pink, of course). I didn’t put any makeup on my forehead, because I didn’t want it sweating into my eyes.

Race morning was chilly, in the mid-40’s. I was going to only wear the sports top for the run, but I decided that would be too chilly to start. I started with the long-sleeve shirt over the sports top, then took the shirt off after about four miles (easier said than done when dealing with a wig), so the last nine miles was in the sports top and the shirt tied around my waist.

Ran the race in two plus hours. Finished toward the bottom of my age group, but I wasn’t that concerned about my time (if I was, I wouldn’t have done it as Dee). Ran the whole thing, faster second half than first.

There were many others in costumes. My favorite was a woman with a large visor and “Believe” taped on their back; well done Ted Lasso. I didn’t get any comments, except some of the water stop volunteers yelled their encouragement (which they did for others too).

Afterwards, I took a couple of photos, including with life size dolls they had scattered about. No, Oliver–the Elton John lookalike–is not a real person.

Cleaned up at my car. Took off makeup and polish, changed tops, and headed home.
Was it fun? Not really, as I pushed myself for over two hours (with sore muscles afterwards as proof).

Satisfaction? Definitely–for completing the race AND being bold enough to do it dressed.

Do it again? Not sure. Ask me in a year.

Editorial comment: I enjoyed reading about this. I always pick up my race packets dressed, so I could relate. I also did run a half (Akron) dressed. Thanks for sharing, as always, Dee!

2 thoughts on “Run Like A Girl*”

  1. Way to go Dee!! I have run several competitive 5Ks, organized fun runs and training runs on the local bike paths as Claire. I always enjoyed the runs. I’m not highly competitive but tried to be a little less so in the competetive races as I didn’t want to place too high in my age group. My outfit always included my breastforms (attached). I got a good appreciation for good vs. bad sports bras. The only thing I never liked was wearing wigs as my head always felt too hot no matter how cool it was. I started wearing baseball caps when running male to try to get used to it. You should do it more often!!

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