To wear: whatnot

The weather forecast for tomorrow’s race over the past 10 days has evolved from cool and rainy, to cold and cloudy, to freezing and sunny. I can’t get any read on the wind situation, as it seems to shift (like the wind!) every time I check, going from reasonable to downright ugly. But it’s going to do whatever it’s going to do, regardless of how much I worry.

I won’t be running in a Mr. Peanut costume tomorrow, so I won’t be easy to spot. But if you’d like to try, here’s my planned ensemble: black shorts, a bright orange tee shirt, black armwarmers, cheap black gloves (which I’ll abandon by mile 3 or so) and my orange “Kentucky racers” (courtesy of my virtual running pal, Tracy, who spends her days experiencing New Running Shoe Smell). I’ll start off with my Ted Corbitt Memorial 15K white cotton longsleeve, which I’ll also abandon early on.

I should also note that my experiment with living life as a blonde is drawing to a close after a year of fun with chemicals. I’m now more solidly on the brown side and will probably stay that way since the time and expense of maintaining my flaxen locks has become too burdensome. I’ll update the blog photo once I get a shot where I don’t look like Richard Lewis.

This will be my first outing with armwarmers, which I admit I felt a little douchey about buying, but when I have them on they actually look kind of cool, and they make my arms look less porcine, which is always a bonus.

The forecasted temps are actually ideal for me. I race best when it’s just above freezing, and start to get too warm if it gets anywhere near 50. But I know a windchill of 27 at the start is too cold for just a short sleeve shirt, and I didn’t bring any technical clothing I’m willing to throw away. If I wear a long sleeve tech shirt, though, I’ll be sweating by the end, when the temps are expected to be right around 40.

Armwarmer bonus: Extra storage space. I will take five gels during the race. I can fit four in my shorts’ pockets. Now I can stick the fifth one in the sleeve of my armwarmer rather than carrying in my hand it all the way to mile 3. Hooray!

“Yes, I am a freak. Be glad your husband isn’t.”

We just did a 3.5 mile run around Capitol Park, which our hotel is on the corner of. Along the way, we talked shop with a friendly woman from Philly (45-49 AG, by my sly extraction of information regarding qualifying for Boston). She’s trying for a qualifier tomorrow and I think she’ll make it, at least if her recent times are any indication.

I was happy to note that my heart rate (both while resting and running) seems back to its normal self. So no red flags are waving (or, like in the spring, actually whacking me) in my face.

On the way back up to our room we shared the elevator with four women about my age. One of them exclaimed, “Oh! You have the watch I just gave my husband. How do you like it?”

*Elevator bleat!*

“I do like it,” I replied. “But they removed some key features from the previous model.”

*Elevator bleat!*

She looked disappointed. “Really? Like what?”

*Elevator bleat!*

“Well,” I replied, slipping into full freak mode, despite my best efforts. “You can’t review your run during a session like you could before.”

*Elevator bleat!*

“You mean you can’t review the run afterwards?”

*Elevator bleat!*

“No. I mean, like, if you want to check your splits…” I noticed all four women looked confused. “You know,” I blundered onward, “Like while doing intervals on the track.” Awkward pause. “You, um, can’t do that anymore.”

*Elevator bleat!*

All heads nodded, yet still obviously perplexed. Jonathan sighed. I examined the elevator floor.

*Bleat! … Bleat! … Bleat!*

Ah. Freedom.

WhyMall?

The trip from our humble domicile to Sacramento was relatively pain-free. But it was long, especially since we decided to pick up our race packets yesterday so we wouldn’t have to deal with it today.

The plan today is to do some shopping for dinner this evening. I’m a control freak (which is probably obvious to anyone who’s read more than three of my posts) and have no interest in attending the giant pasta feeds most races put on. My thought is:  I made it this far without catching a bug; how would I feel if I got food poisoning the night before the race?

The solution is to stay in a place that has at least a fridge and microwave in the room. This time we got lucky and I secured a kitchenette, so I can actually cook. All of this comes in handy for the post-race feed, which involves our lying around in front of the television, consuming all of the “bad” foods (and huge amounts of beer and wine) that we can’t have in any regular or extreme way during training.

Our room is perfect in other ways too. Our bedroom (which is separate from our living area) is backed up to a giant electrical closet, far from the elevators and on the ninth floor. The hotel also made me sign their No Party Policy. In our last hotel, our neighbors were up at 1:30AM watching television and engaging in a discourse over it that was loud enough for me to make out the substance of their exchange. Before that, we shared a wall with what must have been the winners for Loudest Scene at the National Porn Awards.

Anyhoo. Here I am, up early and still on New York time. Despite how incredibly busy work was prior to leaving, I managed to pack everything I needed. I did discover, once on the plane, that while I managed to pack my little computer, I’d stupidly turned it on beforehand. So I had no battery life left. I’d planned to do some writing and editing, and it would have been nice to have had the option of frittering away the 6.5 hours playing mindless games, but it was not to be.

Fortunately, I also brought a book. But I couldn’t dip into that without first engaging in my traditional perusal of the SkyMall catalogue. I can make a game out of this activity: What’s the most expensive item? Least expensive? How many of them make dubious claims based on shoddy science? Are there any that look outright dangerous? That sort of thing.

If I can find something that hits the trifecta — extravagant, unnecessary and inconvenient — well, that’s the winning item. Nothing I found quite hit that lofty mark, although the second one below comes awfully close. Here are the highlights:

“Have you ever wanted to make or receive a phone call underwater?” No, but I’ll bet Ted Kennedy did. For just $1,790 (cell phone not included), you can yammer away underwater with colleagues, family or illicit lovers while diving for clams or engaging in recovery of drowning victims.  “Honey, can you pick up bread on the way home? The dive’s going great, except my tank is…low…glug glug glug…”

“Produce your own water!” For $999 you can have an enormous, hideous contraption (in one of three cheerful primary colors) that — get this — actually makes water. We’re talking seven gallons a day! At just $0.20 per gallon. Or you could do what we do at my house: just turn on one of several taps we have, conveniently located right where we need them; we even have several outside.

Does anyone like bidets? I don’t. I won’t go into crass detail, much as I’d love to, but bidets are just weird. So the idea of buying my very own travel bidet seems like something I’d only do if I wanted to take a great trip abroad and ruin it. I especially appreciate the copywriter’s clever double entendre: “Enjoy the confidence…no matter where you go.” Also: $44.95? I could buy a turkey baster for $9.99 and get the same effect.

And finally, in the “I don’t think we should take the kids to any more barbecues at Bill and Mindy’s house” category, it’s the Zombie of Montclaire Moors statue. I think it speaks for itself. Note: No Rush Delivery!

At the moment, I’m preparing to go out and run 3 miles around Capitol Park, just to see how cold it’s going to feel tomorrow morning. Then it’s a day of list-making, light shopping, an attempt at napping, dinner and early to bed.

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