I swore I would never be one of them. You know who I’m talking about… those guys that rock their semi- expensive spandex gear and speed around the park on foot or on two wheels looking and thinking that they’re cooler than everyone else. Every time I used to see one of these people (mostly bikers) I would immediately feel a tinge of anger deep in my belly and more than once thought of “accidentally” sticking a foot out to trip them. Who were they to think they were above everyone else and could get away with wearing skintight clothes that didn’t fit and made me want to vomit each time I saw them? Even if the person was in shape, it just made me feel bad about myself and made me want to trip them even more. I would never wear such apparel and subject myself to others feeling the same way about me that I felt about the spandex creatures. It just wasn’t happening!
Fast forward to two weeks ago and the picture below.
I don’t know what to say other than I have turned to the dark side. There is no way around it; I am now one of the spandex geeks wearing the clothes that are way too tight. Though I sometimes feel like less of a man in the tights, while simultaneously showing more of my manhood at the same time (somewhat embarrassing, especially when running on a cold fall day), the spandex move was one that I had to make for a few reasons. For one, it is extremely lightweight. For a race like this where the weight of your pack is so important, every extra pound that you can decrease your pack by is a huge advantage. The second reason is that the compression gear dries very quickly. I’m sure the temperatures above 100 degrees will dry anything over the course of a few hours but these items will be dry within an hour or two, which gives me peace of mind about starting as “fresh” as possible the next day after not showering for days at a time. Lastly, using compression gear is supposed to have a number of benefits, such as reducing muscle fatigue and reducing impact to the thighs, knees and hamstrings. If this is actually true, which I’m not totally sure of yet, it can be a huge advantage for me over 155 miles, and I need any edge I can get. Here is what I am bringing for the race:
1 pair of CW-X Pro Shorts – http://cw-x.com/ExploreProducts.aspx?gender=mens&product=tights&by=collection&sub=pro
1 pair of CW-X Pro Tights – http://cw-x.com/ExploreProducts.aspx?gender=mens&product=tights&by=collection&sub=pro
1 Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shirt – http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/mens/gearline/heatgear/compression/pid1201163-Men-s-HeatGear-Longsleeve/1201163-301
1 Nike Short Sleeve Compression Shirt – http://www.zappos.com/nike-pro-core-short-sleeve-compression-crew-white-cool-grey?zfcTest=prodPage2a:0
I am sure that the 10 people that actually read this blog are probably asking themselves: “What the hell is on his legs? Is this his Aztec Indian costume for Halloween?” While it may double as a costume if I get lazy, these gaiters are designed to keep sand as far away from my feet as possible. In a previous post, I had posted a picture of a pair of pearly white gaiters that I was planning on purchasing. After some additional research, I decided to go with these larger ones. In order to make sure that as little sand as possible gets into my shoes, I took the sand gaiters to a shoe repair store in Hoboken and had them sew the gaiters directly into my Brooks Acadia running shoes so there would be no breakdowns out in the desert. It looks like they did a great job but only time will tell.
So there you have it… I’ve abandoned my promise to never look like a ghetto version of Lance Armstrong and will attempt to look like a semi-professional athlete during the race.
If I end up being as far from the front of the pack as possible, at least I’ll look like I belong with them.