I’m about to go out running again, for the first time in weeks, and I’m hoping my knee will hold out. As I went through my clothes, sorting out what I wanted to wear, I realised that I have a whole load of running shirts, and that there’s a story behind just about all of them.
There’s my Paddock Wood Half Marathon shirt – the longest distance and longest race I’ve done to date.
My Brighton Marathon training shirt – a sad story, as I never got there.
My Beyonders shirt – a Facebook group where I’ve made many friends and find great support running. This shirt needs my name on, and then will become my race shirt.
My two-blue shirt – my current race shirt, and the first running shirt I used regularly.
My darker blue shirt – I ordered this from Amazon, and got grumpy when it took three weeks to arrive instead of three days.
My three parkrun shirts – 50 (red), 100 (black) and 25 Volunteer (purple). I earned those. I value them.
My Faversham 10k shirt – I have three altogether, but this is the only one in technical fabric. It’s also hi-vis, so gets a lot of wear.
My red Adidas shirt – bought to wear for a school sports day. It was a couple of weeks before I was due to leave the school altogether, and for the first time I felt part of a group, moving around, being active, laughing at the kids who decided they were too cool to join in, arguing with those who objected to my way of interpreting the rules.
Then there’s my long-sleeved shirts – one hi-vis, and one black. The black one is worn as an extra layer under a teeshirt during cold days. The hi-vis one was my first confirmation that I was an actual runner, who would go out running even when the weather wasn’t warm and pleasant.
My two vest tops – one bought because I wanted something to wear in summer. The other donated by my mother in law as part of a promotion she qualified for.
Finally there are charity vests – a reminder that I was supposed to raise money for a charity during my Brighton run. I’m hoping that some day I’ll be able to honour that commitment.
But first of all, I need to get back to running. Which is where today comes in. And my choice of shirt? Purple volunteer shirt. To remind myself that I’m useful to parkrun even if I’m not a fast runner.