Days 23-does anyone really care what day I’m on25: The temperature on Sunday afternoon ended up close to 80 degrees by the time I headed out for my jog. I had been concerned about a rise in temperature since my first day of training. My only running shirts equipped with pockets suitable for my required tissue supply are jackets. Dressing in wintry layers while trying to run on a hot Colorado day would not improve my running performance, my health, nor my already borderline running image, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for potential summer clothes for weeks. After waiting diligently as the spring and summer apparel rolled into my usual stores, I found that running manufactures simply do not cater to the nasally challenged. There are no running shirts (or shorts) with pockets. Why? Could it really affect one’s aerodynamics so much to make pockets an undesirable option? Unless the Bolder Boulder is lined with nose blowing stations stocked with an endless supply of tissues, I will have to carry my own. I dragged my daughter to REI to see if the sporting goods store would have anything more to offer. I enlisted a sales associate to help me find some pockets for my gear. I told him I was new to the sport and about my runny nose and tissue dilemma. We searched the running shirts together and laughed when we found only one top with a side pocket intended for a key and large enough for a single folded tissue. We found some nifty but too small pockets that velcro onto your shoelaces that I ultimately decided against. Even if I could cram ample tissues in them, I’d have to stop and bend over every time I needed one, and just one puddle would render the entire supply useless. All hope was nearly lost, and then I stumbled upon the biking attire. Bikers are smart. Racks of breezy, stylish shirts with 2 or 3 large pockets on the back, and as a bonus the back is longer to cover my butt. I found a very cute and comfy tank top with plenty of tissue storage space in the back. I bought 2. I may only be running a race, but with my swim goggles, my clothes are doing a triathlon!
I headed out for my jog/walk late in the day prepared for the heat, the wind, and my cold which was still present despite a brief nap. I still attempted to run, but my feet felt like lead and I was back to wondering why anyone calls this “fun.” My enjoyment was further amplified by the experience of my first essential runner’s spit. It was not executed well. Just when I thought I had sprung all leaks humanly possible, I discovered yet another body part capable of exuding forth liquid from within. In the future, I will wait until the wind is at my back before attempting this maneuver. The silver lining is that I had a tissue in hand almost before the deed was done to mop up the tell-tale remains on my chin and cheek, thanks to my new biking shirt. I can’t say whether my cold was to blame or because something physiological happens to runners after a magical combination of jostling and breathlessness, that causes an unbearable buildup of a thick, most unpleasant substance in one’s mouth. I have seen lots of other runners spit with abandon, though they would likely deny it during interrogation. Most are proficient at it. I have never been good at spitting, although I knew some girls in high school who could spit impressively upon command. I was always the one with the residual trail on my face, quickly swiped away by my sleeve. I guess I can add running spit practice to my internal fluid management training regimen. I make a gross runner.
Today my gross quotient has skyrocketed. My cold has consumed my entire head and I am a walking pile of congestion, leaving a trail of tissues as I hack my way aimlessly around the house. I have only a random inaudible squeak for a voice and am rapidly losing my resemblance to the human race. I made it through 20 minutes of Jillian this morning but bailed on any form of running this afternoon. I suddenly find myself with time to type amid abundant spitting practice on a Special K day. Illness is not easily accommodated in my preparations for race day, but I have no other option than to temporarily suspend my quest while I toss my sneakers back in the closet and try to get some sleep. I hope this doesn’t last long.