Skip to content

Color My (Sporty) World

August 10, 2010

Powered-by-purple running partners Sheila and SBS standing in front of my power-color minivan

Typically I’m decisive about what to wear for a run. But I waffled on Saturday morning before my 14-mile run: jade green Lululemon top, indigo Run Inn tee (a reminder of a most awesome evening on RLAM tour), or a heathered-purple top? Wearing a solid black New Balance skirt (oooh, on sale at Zappos!), I could go in any direction. I settled on the purple because it was longer enough to prevent any possible chafing from my beloved Amphipod belt. Well, at least that’s why I thought I chose it. Turns out psychic vibes played a part, too: When I showed up at my new running buddy’s house, she walked out wearing a black skirt and…an amethyst-colored tank. Always a good sign.

Then, about an hour into our run, I spied a teal-y, metallic blue SUV parked by the side of road. Like a fish attracted to a shiny lure, I’m drawn to anything blue. I blurted out, “Oh, that’s such a pretty color.” Sheila replied, “That’s a power color.” Hey, what was this level-headed pharmacist doing getting all woo-woo, patchouli-and-chimes on me!?

But I was intrigued: Sheila told of a woman she’d trained with (back East, nonetheless!) who had a whole theory about colors and how they can invigorate competitors. Supposedly bright blue, in particular, can amp up an athlete.  I immediately thought of the sapphire blue Asics tee  I wore running Big Sur, the first marathon that I felt anything but utterly crappy at the end. (To borrow from Dimity’s post yesterday, when I crossed the finish line, I felt good!) Given that I love blue, I don’t need much of an excuse to wear that color.

Toward the end of our run, we were meandering around my ‘hood, making sure we ran the requisite 14 miles. With about a mile and a quarter to go, I steered us up a steady, quarter-mile hill. A new car the same pretty teal color passed us. In between sucks of air, I joked it could power us up the incline. As the car rounded out of sight, Sheila pointed out a royal-blue VW Bug parked near the top of the rise, saying we should focus on that to spur us on.

I felt great on our run. I think it was more the shared laughs than our wonder-twin-power matching-purple tees, but do you think there’s any truth to the power-color theory?

The real purple Wonder Twins ("form of..., shape of...")

30 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 3:42 am

    Excellent post. I think the colour of your clothes can spur you on. How can you feel drab and un-enthused in something bright and cheery. Plus being bright you get noticed more, which means you are less likely to want to stop.
    Colours can make you feel happy.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      August 10, 2010 10:10 am

      I’m chuckling over your observation about being noticed and thus feeling compelled to keep going. Isn’t that the truth? I sometimes keep a sprint going just b/c a car or cyclist is passing by me! Or like this morning, when I was jogging SO slowly home from the track–I wanted to wear a sign telling folks I’d left it all on the track!

  2. Kelly permalink
    August 10, 2010 5:36 am

    The wonder twins graphic & reference made me laugh! I used to love that cartoon!
    Yes, I think colors can add a little ‘lift’ to your performance!

    • bowenshea permalink*
      August 10, 2010 10:12 am

      Glad I’m not the only one that the Wonder Twins made an impact on. I often reference them in my real life–always thinking about what water-based shape I’ll assume. Ice dagger? Giant wave?

  3. August 10, 2010 6:55 am

    Definitely! I am sometimes intrigued by the things I am drawn to in my running attire…obligatory runs that I’m not totally psyched about – get ‘er done mode = neutral colors…wow, this is going to be awesome (code for I don’t have to mask my scent & drive the kids anywhere immediately following) = something bright & lovely!!! And, thanks to y’all, more often than not, a sassy RUNNING SKIRT!!! 🙂 By the way, LOVE the heathered purple top!!!!

    • bowenshea permalink*
      August 10, 2010 10:13 am

      Thanks, Mary. Heathered top is same Lululemon top as the jade green one I linked to…just the color is no longer available. An awesome shirt. (And, might I add, I was kinda proud by how well my Asics HAT coordinated with it! hee, hee)

  4. August 10, 2010 7:01 am

    I always run in pink. Pink shirt, socks with pink on them, a pink cap, pink ipod, even a pink fuel belt! You get the idea. I’m a mom of three boys (9,7,3) so I need as much pink in my life as I can possibly get. It makes me feel feminie, pretty and yeah, I guess powerful too! I think I’m becoming known around town as the lady who runs in pink! I love it!

  5. August 10, 2010 7:42 am

    If grey weather can be demotivating and blue skies the opposite… I totally think so!

  6. August 10, 2010 7:48 am

    Why is it I can only remember, in regards to the Wonder Twins, that one of them once said: “Form of icefall!”? or maybe it was “For of ice waterfall!” and the other was “Form of ice pick!”?

    I definitely feel cute when I wear hot pink. My shoes are hot pink. And everyone knows that feeling cute translate to feeling all powerful. Whenever I put them on, I feel like it’s time to just GO already.

    Then I proceed to crush people with my 11-minute miles…

    • August 10, 2010 9:21 am

      And running (flying) through the woods is always better in hot pink! I will have to make sure I am “colored up” for our Saturday runs. Actually, I never wear pink *except* when I run, not sure why, but after reading this post, I’ll give it some thought…..

      • bowenshea permalink*
        August 10, 2010 10:16 am

        Interesting you only wear pink when running. I’m a blue-girl to my very core: I pretty much live in it. But recently I started wearing a cute pink New Balance tee that says Zoom Zoom on it (for ZOOMA race series) and I love it!

        • August 10, 2010 12:18 pm

          I just got my back from my lunch time run in my Hot Pink Moving Comfort tank and thought about this very subject—between reaching for some deep meaning behind it and the humidity, I got a headache!

    • bowenshea permalink*
      August 10, 2010 10:15 am

      One of the Wonder Twins (the boy?) always had to be something made out of water, the other had to be an animal. Needless to say, my twins often get dubbed the Wonder Twins around here. (Seems more positive than Thing 1 and Thing 2, right?!)

  7. August 10, 2010 8:10 am

    As I look in my workout drawers, it is pretty full of purple – my favorite color. I feel more confident when I wear purple. It makes me happy which will make me more at ease during my run.

  8. Tryna permalink
    August 10, 2010 8:37 am

    All I know is when I wear a bright color I feel happier than when I wear a plain white one, and happier is better.

    So for the picture of the Wonder Twins. I have boy/girl twins and now all I can hear is the sound on the show they make after they change. So I asked a co-worker, who is younger but not a teenager or anything, and she doesn’t know who the Wonder twins are. Sigh. Really?

  9. August 10, 2010 8:41 am

    I have 2 favourite shirts for working out. One is a bright coral-red, and the other, a very recent purchase, is lemon yellow. For some reason, I just feel better about working out when I wear those shirts. Seriously, when I look at that yellow shirt (and my gym bag of the same shade), I just think “happy.” And who doesn’t need more “happy,” right?

  10. August 10, 2010 8:49 am

    Ha ha..that is so funny that you two basically wore the same thing! I’m glad you ended up having a good run!

  11. Karen Falat permalink
    August 10, 2010 9:20 am

    I think there can be power in anything you put energy into- anything you believe in. And at the end of the day, or in this case at the end of the run, if it makes you take one more step towards the ‘finish line’, it just may be the mojo you need!

  12. Dr. Fitzinya permalink
    August 10, 2010 9:38 am

    I want Sheila’s phone number!!

  13. August 10, 2010 10:08 am

    Definitely. Purple is my power color!! Whatever it takes to make us go harder and stronger!! 🙂

  14. jord permalink
    August 10, 2010 11:46 am

    I’m with Julie! Purple is my power color, but in a pinch any bold color will do. Not so much that acid yellow/green traffic safety color, but everything else works.

  15. Denise Brackstone permalink
    August 10, 2010 1:18 pm

    My husband and I joke about buying a chromotherapy (color therapy) bath tub for out new master bathroom. But, I truly believe in the power of color – bright pink, royal blue, vibrant purple or turquoise clothes make my brain smile. I enjoy wearing bright running shirts and skirts mostly because it to me it shouts out, “girl power!”. Anyone passing me by while I’m out there can’t help but make a mental note of yet another woman out there doing something good for herself. Although I’m 38 and 5 feet tall, I realize that wearing such happy colors make me look younger. But, for the first time in my life I finally don’t mind being mistaken for a younger person, whereas a twenty-something being mistaken for a 13 year-old only resulted in tears and a belief in the curse of eternal-youth.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      August 10, 2010 10:15 pm

      OOOH, color-therapy tub. Sounds intriguing. I’ll have to Google!

      And love your reminiscence of being mistaken for someone far younger. I was so tall as a youth I was forever being mistaken for being older. Certainly not a bad thing as a teen when drinking age was 18 or 19…hee, hee.

  16. Amy permalink
    August 10, 2010 2:00 pm

    I had a color crisis this weekend when shopping for new running tops. Cute fit, right price range, just perfect, but it was orange. I would look like a pumpkin! Next top I passed over was light purple (sorry, but not my fave). My favorite color tops (light blue, pink and lime green) were not in the right fit, style or material. So I walked out empty handed.
    I remember thinking to myself that it was bummer they didn’t have it in “my color” But the question is really about power colors–and my two cents: looking good is feeling good and feeling good is feeling powerful.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      August 10, 2010 10:17 pm

      Amy–I am usually SO all about “my color,” which is typically blue. For years and years I consigned purple to being my older sister’s color…but suddenly this spring, purple appealed to me. I’ve even bought some purple-stone jewelry. I guess a leopard can change its spots, metaphorically speaking!

  17. August 10, 2010 4:27 pm

    oh I definately do! I wear different colors on different runs. I have my favorite teal blue Brooks tank and shorts that I wear for speed workouts, my Asics yellow shirt and grey and yellow skorts that I wear for long runs and the rest I wear for easy runs. LOL

    • bowenshea permalink*
      August 10, 2010 10:18 pm

      Love that you have outfits regimented to type of workout. I’ll admit: I’m packing for long weekend trip with family, leaving tomorrow. Looking at that photo from last weekend, I got to thinking, “hmmmm, maybe that’ll become one of my signature long-run outfits….” Great minds think alike!

  18. August 10, 2010 5:33 pm

    I love this post and linked to it in my blog. These are just my weaknesses. Running, lululemon and pretty colors.

  19. August 10, 2010 6:33 pm

    Interestingly, I wore a pair of day-glo yellow running shorts today for the first time. I actually bought them because I liked the fit and price, and they were the only color in my size. But, for some reason, sometime during my run I decided I absolutely loved running in them because of the color! AND, they even somehow made my pasty white legs look tan – bonus! 🙂

  20. Erica Richards permalink
    August 10, 2010 8:34 pm

    I almost always wear a birght colored top (red, orange, bright blue) so that the cars can see me…I’m so afraid of getting hit by a car, I thought it would help them, not me. Hmm, maybe it helps me too. 🙂 Funny, purple is my favorite color but I have no purple running tops.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s