Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Marathon Wonder Woman

Nike Women's Marathon 2013

I decided to run the full marathon again and since everything is better with a costume I made a Wonder Woman running outfit.  This was inspired by a fun group of gals at the inaugural Geek Girls Fun Run at DragonCon in August and many of them had superhero outfits.  Wonder Woman is well-known and variations in the outfit are easily recognizable. 

Marathon course through SF, lots of hills
I decided on a 3 piece outfit: shirt, skirt and regular running tights/capris under the skirt.  This gave me the option of neurotically over-thinking my race-day pants choices and provided the chance to buy some seriously overpriced compression tights that I do not think improved my performance. I did refer to them as magic pants for the week before the race to try and encourage a bit of the placebo effect.

I started with a men's athletic shirt so I could be sure to use a wickable base material and recut the shirt using my basic tshirt block.  I wasn't sure about the content of the gold material so I wanted to limit the amount I was using.  It ended up being rather cold and foggy for the marathon so it didn't really make a difference.

I appliqued the wonder woman symbol on my shirt front using a regular zigzag stitch, tracing over a paper printout to get the outline and then filling it in with more stitching.  All the seams were sewn using a three thread flatlock with wooly nylon.  The one thing I'd change is to use a solid red thread rather then the multicolor thread.  The multicolor was too much. 

The great thing about making your own clothes is that you can change things to fix common fitting problems.  One major problem I have with most women's running shirts is that the sleeves are not long enough.  I find that on long runs I get chafing on my upper arms, particularly when it is hot out (which in SF is anything above 65).  I made the shirt sleeves longer and had no problems at all.

The skirt is two rectangles, sewn onto the elasticized waistband and not joined at the sides.  This turned out to be a good choice as it didn't restrict movement in any way.  I did have to pull the skirt down a couple times so in the future I might make it as one garment with capris/shorts/tights or make the skirt longer.
skirt with ridiculously overpriced compression tights
Mile 23
 The shirt turned out to be very comfortable and the skirt was mostly in the right place.  The most difficulty I had was with the waistband of the compression pants so I cut that off and replaced it with a non-elasticized band.  After wearing it for 5 hours I think I'm going to cut that off and replace it with an even wider band to make it more comfortable. 

The race was ok, I rocked the first 18 miles and then came down with some blisters and leg cramping.  Mile 21 was a particular low point where my toes hurt so much I tried to run in my socks, turns out to not be a good idea. I managed to run/walk to the finish with the support of one of my friends/co-workers who came to drag me through the last few miles (he told me to smile in the picture above, otherwise there was no smiling).  Still, I ended up with a better time than the last marathon, even if I didn't make my time goal.

The support for spectators was great.  Tons of people recognized my character and cheered me on, which really helped towards the end. I would definitely wear this for another long road race.  Sewing with spandex and knits was not at all difficult and I am looking forward to altering some of my running clothes and making some more fun race outfits.