A few months I read an article poking fun at distance runners (particularly ultrarunners) and crossfitters and their stereotypical snobby and/or annoying attitudes. I was reminded of this article this weekend at the half marathon and even a day later on Facebook. The weather on Saturday was about 63 degrees with wind. Not cold but chilly if merely standing; definitely not cold running gear weather. But, never in my life have I seen so many knee high compression socks and arm warmers. Can someone PLEASE explain to me what the deal is with these compression socks? If it’s for warmth, why not just wear leggings? or knickers? What is this “compression” doing for your calves? I understand arm warmers in long distance races as they are easily strippable, but I don’t understand their function in 60 degree weather for either a 5k, 10k, or 13.1 on Saturday. And so very many water belts (probably complete with some gels in the handy zipper pocket). There was a plethora of water stops during the half! You could even pick water OR gatorade at some of the stations! Tollefson stated, “Throw a number on, gear yourself out in 20 lbs of unnecessary crap and then run from point A to point B, consuming a grip of food somewhere mixed in.” BINGO. Alright, so I’m ‘hatin, but: (insert reason here ;D ). I guess I forgot that to look like a legitimate and dedicated runner, you must sport the proper gear. Running shoes, shorts, shirt, and watch just aren’t enough.
Later that evening, I went to the Aquarium’s Facebook page in hopes that they would reveal when the race photos would be posted. The most recent post was a woman complaining about the race. She was very disappointed that there was no food offered at the water stops. FOOD- at WATER stops. I thought, “you have GOT to be kidding me!” I quickly imagined myself approaching a water stop and sitting down to a meal of seared steak- medium rare with a side of oven-roasted asparagus and twice-baked potatoes, bib on neck with a race volunteer as my server. I savor the meal then get up to continue my run. Ya know, gotta fuel the muscles! Who the hell needs food at a water stop for at most a 13.1 mile race? She also stated that there was not enough food at the end, only bananas and oranges. This was frustrating to me because the Oklahoma Aquarium did a fantastic job conducting this race. There were plenty of water stops, the course was marked at every mile, they served breakfast BEFORE the race, and had hot meals for racers with banquet-style seating inside post race! I politely commented that I had never heard of food being offered at water stops and did not think it was the coordinator’s responsibility to do so. The Aquarium responded to the complaint by stating that they too had not heard of offering food during a race and that she missed a ton of food offered inside the Aquarium, not the just the fruit outside. This woman has since deleted her complaint from the Aquarium’s page.
And now to the change the mood of this post:
Overall, I’m delighted that I took first place in overall women, but simultaneously disappointed that I did not run my goal-time. I’ll just have to train more adequately next time- and not get the Flu during the week of my peak mileage! My comfort with this race was that my Garmin registered it as 13.26, so had it been 13.1, my time would have been quite a bit lower!
Have you raced anything recently?Can you tell me what knee-high compression socks do?