Winner of the Funniest Running Story contest and the Women’s Garmin Forerunner 110
Running gear malfunctions are fortunately not life threatening, so they usually fall into the category of embarrassing or frustrating – both of which you can laugh about later.
My first experience was many years ago as a newbie runner, just discovering the exhilarating world of ‘technical fabrics’. For inspiration I had purchased a beautiful light blue pair of running shorts and a tank top – both in lovely, soft- but early versions of technical fabric. The notion of wicking away sweat may have been the intention, but it didn’t work out that way. Upon returning to the gym from my July morning run, I spent some time doing my stretch routine before heading into the weight room for some strength work. I noticed a few people smiling as they passed by, but I took that to mean they were happy to see me. Boy, were they!!
I sat down on a bench with free weights in each hand, posed for a set of reps, and took a look in the mirror. The sweat pattern on my ‘sexy’ new blue outfit had formed perfect wet circles around my nipples, and another decidedly unflattering, vertical crotch line. I was aghast – and got the heck out of there fast. That outfit was donated to a friend who never breaks a sweat and I took to spitting on running clothes in the change room to check out the sweat embarrassment factor before buying anything else!
As I grew savvier about running gear, I added a watch with lots of buttons to track my time and splits, but didn’t really learn how to use it and didn’t really understand what splits were anyway. Every time I reached for my water bottle, it turned the timer on and off. One intended two hour training run turned into three hours because I didn’t realize what was happening with my watch, and just kept on running. There is something to be said for watching how high the sun climbs in the sky.
Later, I was introduced to the world of GPS technology and learned a little more about splits and the purpose of using a watch in training. But even the best laid training plans can be foiled by gear malfunctions. My longest training run before going to Boston was supposed to be 34km with very a specific pace and a pace band to track splits – all worked out by my ‘coach’ who was infinitely more technical. It was all working out fine, aside from the weather, which started out as a light drizzle and developed into a torrential downpour. Doing laps through the rivers that had formed on the roads around the cemetery seemed like a reasonable way to just clock the distance without over-shooting so I could just focus on pace. But the relentless driving rain ended up getting past the waterproof seal and caused the GPS to start going in reverse!! In those conditions, nobody needs to run an extra three kilometres, and it takes a long time to realize what’s happening when everything from your socks to your brain cells are sloshing!!
All you can do is laugh about it ….later!
© 2011 Savvy Runner Inc.
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