There’s nothing quite like the anxiety of waiting for pictures from the race in which you wore tights publicly for the first time. I think all things functioned properly in a wardrobe sense, and the bright neon orange Umstead Duck Shirt certainly helped train the eyes of onlookers upward.
The weather felt warmer than the sub-thirties in the forecast, and apparently it was. Almost ten-degrees warmer. I considered taking off the Vapors, but doing so would still be pushing my cold-tolerance levels. I also considered just wearing socks (or the Sockiplasts), but with the tights it looked like I was wearing footy pyjamas. I don’t know, maybe that could become a thing, but I don’t think the time for the footy pyjama aesthetic has yet come. So I went with the Vapors (the black ones; the orange pair of a different hue than the duck shirt, creating a clash) even though I think they’re a trail shoe, and my feet maintained a happy temperature. I think my decision was a good one, because it got considerably colder by the end of the race.
I should note this is at least the third race now where I’ve been outbarefooted. Steve Perkins ran the course au natufoot, and apparently was comfortable the whole way. So maybe I could have run in similar fashion, but I think I would have suffered at least a little. Anyway, congrats Steve! Be sure to work on your soundbites!
The tights were exceptionally comfortable. 2XU Thermal Tights is what they say on the label, and I paid retail for them. By “I” I mean “we,” since money is a fungible commodity in this house. However, 20% of the sale went to Red Dog Farm, a cool place that takes care of all sorts of animals until they can get adopted out. This was all part of a local runner’s charity for the Boston Marathon this year. So I decided to believe in destiny for a moment and came to the conclusion it was meant to be, and bought them. Very pricey, but I don’t really know how to assign value to these things. It was nice not having the flapping fabric, and I never felt too warm. I don’t know if the compression (mild, I’d say) helped in any way performance-wise, since it’s hard to maintain objectivity and perceptive accuracy when you’re dancing precariously close to the red line up and down the hills of Martinsville.
Ooh, the prose is flowery today. What a treat for you!
None of that matters because I don’t know what I look like in them yet. No, mirrors don’t count. Not for me. I have this condition where I have an insurmountable urge to flex my muscles whenever I pass a mirror, accompanied by an eye squint, which has the effect of blurring the harsh lines of reality into something more proportionally pleasing. There’s no cure. Very sad. It is only the truthful capture of the camera that determines the success or failure of an outfit in action. So patiently I wait.
The race went well, by the way. I finished third out of everybody who ran it.
Oh wait! A picture has been posted:
OK, that’s not so bad. I don’t look particularly offensive. Like the buff? That I got cheap from a guy I know who knows a guy who knows a guy in China. I just put the thing on my head to cover my ears, and let the excess fabric flow like the mane of a proud lion. Or Bon Jovi in the Living On A Prayer days. Take my hand, we’ll make it! I totally swear!
My finish time was 1:24:17, a 13.1 mile PR by a little over a minute and a half, and a P course R by almost three. I’m quite happy with that, especially so soon after Umstead.
Did you note the gloves, and how they match the shirt? Apparently being a believer in destiny, even if only for a moment, has some perks like fortuitous color coordinations: I was unaware at the time of purchase what color the Umstead shirt would be. I bought the gloves with the tights. Basically, I was hemorrhaging money that day. You should have been there. Too late now, my wallet is all stitched up and I’m back to being my regular cheap, “there’s no such thing as destiny it’s all chaos” self.
This was the third Martinsville Half, and I’ve run every one of them. 1:28:32 the first year, which was a PR by about four minutes at the time. 1:27:15 the next year, faster even though I added a third of a mile with an impromptu outnback. Would have been another PR if I had a decent sense of direction. It’s a tough course, but I seem to do well there. Which is weird, because not only have I never trained for it, but the race is always just three weeks after the Umstead Marathon. Maybe the reason I struggle at Umstead is that I’m actually training for Martinsville without realizing it.
Who knows. Anyway, thank you Martinsville for another great race!