So Long, Runner’s Tan…

28 Sep

My runner’s tan is fading, and, as silly as it sounds, it is a little bittersweet. Because I was pregnant this summer and not in hardcore training mode, I was not able to spend as much time outside in the sunshine on long runs as usual. I tan VERY easily and since most of my racerback tops and shorts/running skirts fit just about the same way, by the end of spring/summer, I usually end up with a SERIOUS farmer’s runner’s tan. The tan lines are so deep that the tan usually stays with me through the fall and most of the winter…never really going away. They endure from year to year, even through seasons where my tank/shorts combo is traded info long sleeve tech tees and running tights.

In previous years I would complain about them, as they always made me look so silly in a bathing suit. It is really hard to feel sexy and attractive in bikini when every part of your body between the tops of your thighs and your shoulders is as white as Elmer’s glue and the rest of your body is nice and bronzed. And do not even get me started about the sock tan. I will forever look like I am wearing white socks…whether I am *actually* wearing socks or not.

This summer, however, the extreme South Louisiana temperatures and growing baby belly forced me indoors and more of my time was spent on the treadmill or in the pool training for the Rocketchix Triathlon. When I was able to get outside, it was usually at the end of the day with my running groups, when the sun was no longer high overhead. My poor runner’s tan is fading and I think I might even miss it a little. I had always thought of my tank top lines as something I had earned, something that I should be proud of. After all, they represented hours spent around my neighborhood or the LSU lakes, enduring the hot Louisiana sun and humidity. In some way, I feel like they were my own little weird badge of honor for getting out there and spending so much time and energy doing something physical.

The lines on my legs and the lines on my shoulders are not faint and my next spring, I am sure that they will be gone completely. But of course, somehow, the sock tan NEVER seems to go away. I swear I will be sporting this look in my high heels FOREVER.

Do you get a bad runner’s tan in the summer? Do you like or dislike your tan lines? How do you keep from getting them?

9 Responses to “So Long, Runner’s Tan…”

  1. Lauren @ Forward is a Pace September 28, 2011 at 12:27 PM #

    I get the WORST runners tan lines in the summer. The best part is the tan lines from my cycling shorts,though. So awesome in a bathing suit. Not.

  2. Randy September 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM #

    Ya know, I never really got much of a tan from running this year? Probably because it is so oppressively hot in SC that I did all my runs before the sun was up. I was like a vampire all summer long…haha

  3. Concrete Runner September 28, 2011 at 12:55 PM #

    I don’t really get a farmer’s tan from running, but I do from work since I spend my day outside teaching PE. My sock tan never goes away either!

  4. rollerkoesterrun September 28, 2011 at 4:41 PM #

    Hilarious that this is your post- my new series is How to Spot a Runner. I seriously mentioned the ankle tan lines the other day- AWESOME! LOL!

  5. Nicole @ Haute Running Mama September 28, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

    I run so early in the AM that I don’t get a runners tan. My derm loves me for that, lol!

    You will miss your tan lines, but they will be back next summer, right?!?

  6. David H. September 28, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

    I didn’t realize how much of a tan I had until I took my wedding ring off one day this summer. And I’m pretty good about using sunscreen.

    • katieRUNSthis September 28, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

      Ha! Oh, don’t even get me started about funky jewelry tan lines. 🙂 I know it isn’t technically considered jewelry, but my 1 1/2″ wide Garmin band is permanently tanned onto my left wrist! Looks especially nice when I try to wear a pretty bracelet or dainty watch or something. 🙂

  7. Nicole September 29, 2011 at 3:21 PM #

    I don’t get too bad of a runner’s tan (don’t quite have the sun that you do!) and I usually try to avoid it because the last few summers I have had to wear strapless dresses for one thing or another. I lather on the sunscreen. I do get a nice tan line on my legs from cycling though. Not super dark though.

    I definitely don’t have the sock tan. I have a sandal tan! I spend more time outside in the sun in sandals than I do running I guess!

  8. rungirlsramblings October 6, 2011 at 2:23 PM #

    The summer tan is great! NOT. My ankle tan is even worse… I wear calf compression sleeves so I have no color on my calves, just tan above my ankle, on the inch and a half exposed between the sleeve and my sock. Really attractive!

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