November 13, 2012

Proper post-marathon pride

At the finish line of my race on Sunday, a volunteer placed a medal around my neck to reward my finish. (Okay, backwards, but I fixed it.) When I headed home to shower (ahhhh warmth!), I obviously took the medal off – but then I put it right back on afterward. I ran a marathon, so I get to show off my medal all day. Right?

The ribbon on the medal happened to be the same color as the shirt I was wearing, so it took BF a little while to notice. But when he did, it was whining time. “Why are you wearing THAT?” he asked, pointing to my medal. “Can’t you take it off?” He’s not alone – past BFs have said the same thing. Come on, now – is it really so embarrassing to be seen with a CHAMPION??? (Kidding.)

As we headed for I Heart Yogurt (the Dallas version of 16 Handles), BF explained his reasoning – and I have to say, it made a lot of sense. While I may indeed have run 26.2, that distance isn’t really that challenging for me (at least not to complete, though I can always get faster), and I tend to cover 26.2 pretty often. For me, he pointed out, running the marathon and getting a medal was kind of like a little kid at a Little League game who wears his uniform the rest of the day. It’s cute – when you’re 7, not 27. As a result of our discussion, I reluctantly took off my medal when we pulled into the parking lot and left in the car.

His point hit home a little harder when we walked into I Heart Yogurt and saw that I was the only one over the age of 8 who was getting frozen yogurt. The rest of the clientele was, in fact, mothers taking their kids for frozen yogurt rewards after soccer/Little League/Pee Wee Football/etc. Oops. I kept my medal off for the rest of the day, but continued to wear my commemorative race t-shirt until I went to bed – I figured I deserved at least that little celebration.

This morning, while getting ready for 6am Flywheel, I decided to again wear my Fort Worth Marathon t-shirt. I had worn it just for afternoon hanging out and dinner, so it wasn’t sweaty/gross, and the wicking material made it perfect for a workout. Why get a clean workout shirt dirty when I could reuse a half-worn shirt, right? But whenΒ I walked into Flywheel, I immediately discovered that I had again accidentally coordinated outfits with my workout buddy, Blake. So far there have been three mornings where we’ve both opted to wear the exact same color shirt – including the one where I wore my neon yellow Nike Women’s Marathon shirt. Not an easy color to match! At least the subdued gray shirts meant that we didn’t get any instructor jokes on the sea of color-coordination over in our corner of the class.

However, Blake and her husband totally teased me for wearing my race shirt to class. “You’re like that guy who wears the band t-shirt the day after the concert!” I hadn’t thought of it that way, but again, it was a great point. It seems that there is no issue when you wear a race t-shirt weeks after the actual race, as it then becomes just like any other workout shirt. But two days later is apparently too soon.

So where is the cutoff between being THAT guy with the concert tee, and just donning the shirt as regular workout wear?Β And how long is it acceptable to wear your medal?

I have to admit, I kind of snicker at people who wear their medal the day after the race (as many first-timers to the New York Marathon seem to do). But is there any real difference between that and putting your medal back on after you shower and wearing it for the rest of the day? It’s still going out of your way to show off your accomplishment – and maybe that’s a bit braggy. Maybe I ought to be relegating it to my shelf as soon as I get home.

What do you do with your medal and race shirt?


13 thoughts on “Proper post-marathon pride”

  1. NYCM is pretty much the only race where I’ve extended my medal-wearing time. Mainly because it gets people to be nice and offer up a seat on the subway or at the airport when you’re hurting. πŸ™‚ I otherwise just hang them up on my wall at home. I don’t have that many (maybe about 15 from races of different distances), so I’m not sure what I’d do if I had a ton of them.

    Race shirts are a different story. If they’re cute and comfortable, I might wear them after a race (like J and I did after the CM Half) or to run errands, etc. If the race shirt is ill-fitting and made of cotton, it usually gets donated. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing a shirt at any time post race. But during the same race is a different story– bad luck!!

  2. You ran 26.2 miles!! That’s a big deal, no matter how often you do it (in my opinion). I say wear your medal for a week after your marathon if you want, you deserve it! Same goes for the tech tees.

    Congrats on another great race!!

  3. When I run NYC next year, I will definitely keep my medal on the rest of the day and maybe even the next day. The only time I’ve worn a race medal around the rest of the day so far was after the Disney Princess Half this year. It was nice because when I was at the outlets later Lululemon gave my friend and I $10 off for wearing them πŸ™‚

    I can see it being braggy but really, it is nothing for people to get offended about.

    Race shirts – if they are tech I wear them for workouts ALL THE TIME. I don’t see any problem with that at all no matter how long after the race it is!

  4. I normally do not keep my medal on post race, although I feel you have every right to no matter how many marathons you’ve done! I hang all of mine up on my bedroom wall. I look back and am proud of every race…you’ve earned them all and have every right to relish in your accomplishments πŸ™‚

  5. I usually keep my medal on for the rest of the day, but rarely does that involve anything other than sitting on my couch, so I don’t feel weird about that at all. Race shirts are generally regulated to pajama top status for me, unless it’s a technical shirt. Then I try to work them into my rotation, one less shirt to wash/buy, right?

  6. I will leave my medal on while I’m still wearing running clothes, maybe even if we go directly out to eat. After I change, I don’t wear the medal…except I think I did wear the Boston Marathon medal to dinner in the hotel restaurant. I wasn’t the only one. I’ll wear the race shirt any time I want after the race, including on the flight home the next day and to the gym whenever. I figure it’s a less obvious way of saying “yeah, I did that.” (And if I wait too long to wear it, I feel like it’s old news!)

  7. As the person who teased you this morning, I fully respect the fact that you ran a marathon and I think it is an incredible accomplishment! I just want to clarify that my gentle teasing this morning was not at all a negative! That and I do like the fact that your marathon shirts seem to coordinate with my generic non-achievement bearing work out clothes!

    When I ran my first half, I hung my medal in my office where everyone had to walk past it… just saying. πŸ™‚

  8. Wow, so many comments! Just to be clear, Blake and her husband were TOTALLY kidding when they teased me about the shirt – it was more that I thought it was interesting in light of BF’s comments on Saturday about the medal. And I’ve gotten the medal comments from many, many people before.

  9. In concert with Blake hanging her medal up at work, after my only half marathon, it sure was draped on my nametag on the office door! It gave them the opportunity to revel in my achievement and realize they might be able to strive toward similar goals.

  10. Wear the medal.
    When I first broke 3 hours I kept the time on my watch for a week hoping people would ask me the time. ” it 2.55…no sorry that wrong….my mistake” πŸ™‚

  11. I usually wear my shirt to dinner after the race and again the next day. I don’t usually wear my medal to go out to dinner. I think the reason I don’t wear my medal is because I started racing in the 80s when most race T-shirts were finisher shirts (you didn’t receive one until you crossed the finish line).

    Dave (MM 2629)

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