Saturday, February 14, 2009

Snowy Saturday Run

Stopping by woods on a snowy morning...

After a too-brief respite from the unrelenting misery of a Michigan winter (I wore shorts on Tuesday to stairclimb practice; it was 60 degrees) it was back to normal today as a few inches of the white stuff fell overnight. The prospect of a seven-mile jaunt through the snow would otherwise be cause for me to grump and whine, but I was actually looking forward to it because it would be my first chance to test-run my latest acquisition:

Behold the Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip! Now with Brown Tabby Stamp of Approval.

I had been saving a gift certificate from Running Fit for just the right occasion. I bided my time, waiting...waiting...until it went on sale. This was a $180 piece of apparel. I got it for considerably less. Zero, in fact, since I was able to use my gift certificate for the entire purchase. I even had a little left over so I grabbed a couple of boxes of Mint Chocolate Gu (limited availability).

I am normally a fairly frugal person when it comes to clothes, especially since I lost weight and had to overturn my entire wardrobe three times. Replacing all those clothes became prohibitively expensive and so I started shopping at a local consignment store. Now I refuse to pay more than $15 for blue jeans and a $3 shirt is like the best thing ever. (I once found a brand-new pair of black wool Calvin Klein dress slacks at this store for $14! Score!)

But when it comes to running gear...well, my frugality falls apart. I am aware there are differing opinions on the benefits, both positive and negative, of fancy running gear. I think we can all agree that moisture-wicking fabrics are a must, and that one should avoid cotton in the winter. Beyond that,'s all a matter of personal preference. My personal preference (read: weakness, obsession, addiction, craving, LUST) is for lovely, soft, attractive things, which more often than not are overly expensive. Most of you have seen this post (one of my favorites) about all of my running gear. Then there's my "if you look good you feel good" outfit, and my all-black Stealth Bomber outfit. And of course let's not forget my massive Bondi Band collection, one of which I can coordinate with anything in my inventory. Actually, I believe that I can apply the "if you look good, you feel good" maxim to any outfit I wear. I take it one step further, however, and include "if you feel good, you run faster." Therefore, my gear purchases have a clear purpose: to make me run faster, obviously. It's simple logic, really.

Yeah, when it comes to running, I'm a total clothes horse. (Clothes whore?) Now, back to that gorgeous jacket. I finally got it yesterday and just hung it up in my closet to admire it. I stroked it. It's so soft, you have no idea. It's also a much livelier red than the little camera in my iPhone (aka the Eighth Wonder of the World) can convey. I couldn't believe it was mine! No, I didn't sleep holding it next to my cheek. Sheesh, what kind of weirdo do you think I am? But it was there to greet me when I got up this morning for my run in the freshly fallen snow.

Break out the YakTrax again! (My thighs look enormous in this picture; it must be the weird angle.)

A dreaded snowy day, so I'll meet you at the cemetery gates...The Oak Grove cemetery driveway and entrance gates. This is my favorite bit of road on all the routes I run. It is beautiful in any season.

So we go inside and we gravely read the stones/All those people, all those lives/Where are they now? Looking back the way I just came, up the drive toward the cemetery. I wasn't the only one to pass this way this morning.

My IT band was quiescent until I reached mile four-ish and then the pain flared up again. By the time I was inside the cemetery I was hobbling, and stopping to take pictures didn't help. I doggedly continued onward and finished the seven miles though I was in serious agony by the end. Stupid knee. Once home, I did the stretching and strengthening exercises I got from the doctor the other day. One of them is the classic "cross one leg over the other and touch your toes" stretch, except in my house, I perform a variation on that theme:

Bend down and touch your tabby.

They were both helping out this morning. Brown Tabby (Bouhaki) on the left, Big Orange Tabby (Darwin) on the right. They were facing that way because I was facing that way, so obviously there was something worth looking at over there.

The state of my knee at the moment does not bode well for my planned 14-miler tomorrow. It hurts like hell. I'm not happy about that, not happy at all. It was a difficult run today. The footing was questionable even with the aid of YakTrax. My feet were constantly slipping backward with every strike, which irritates my knees on a good day. This was not a good day. Except for my fab new jacket, midrun iPhone deployment, and the Feline Personal Trainer Corps.

7.13 miles/1:11:53/10:05 pace/annoyance level: high

All photos taken with the magical wondrous iPhone. Post composed in the normal manner, i.e. at my computer. Just to show certain people that I am capable of putting it down long has it been now? Hold on, I have to touch it again...


jen said...

Ooooh I think I am in love with that jacket. And I'm even more turned on by the fact that you got it on sale AND paid for it with a gift card. Nice work.

Those pictures are beautiful. Sounds like a bitch to run in but wow. Hope you knee feels better with icing and more stretching/kitty-petting. Happy Valentine's day. :)

joyRuN said...

Hail to the iPhone ;)

Good luck with the ITB/knee.

mr loser said...

Good to read how the Smiths continue to exert their much-unappreciated influence. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but I didn't see any reference to "Heaven Knows I Miserable Now" or "These Things Take Time" in describing your knee. :)

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

At first, I thought that was a llama you were touching in that photo. But the fact that i thought it was a llama did not deter me from continuing to read your post, proving conclusively that this stupid rumor that Nitmos and I are one person is utter llama-sh*t.

Good job on the run. It was also fun - and not at all weird - watching you pleasure yourself with your new wicking jacket. Now I know why the wicking feature is a must.

Spike said...

Hope the IT band felt better for your 14M run. Running in slippery snow can't be helping. Can't is just not snow on my running routes?

Viper said...

So, how the hell do you run with a Garmin and an iPhone? Don't you know those things ruin your splits? And cause cancer?

Sarah said...

jen-- I love awesome bargains almost as much as I love my kitties. :) (This one time I found a gorgeous navy blue wool Giorgio Armani trench coat for 80% off at Macy's Closeout. Most awesome deal EVER.)

mr loser-- Thank you. Clearly some of use have good taste in music. Right now my knee feels like a ten-ton truck (or a double-decker bus) ran over it.

GQH--You didn't see me doing anything with The Most Fabulous Jacket Ever. Anything that happened happened only in your imagination.

Viper! Dude, sometimes I run with Garmy, iPhone, AND my iPod. It's a miracle I haven't dropped dead, right?

Xenia said...

Your furballs are so cute!

Hope your injury heals up quick.

Katie said...

I'm soo jealous of the snow! Texas snow is usually just ice ... no fun for snowballs :-).

Happy healing!

Anne said...

You are to be commended, running in all that snow. I'm glad to read that your knee problem was easily diagnosed; I hope the stretching truly does do its job. Also, I thought of you on Saturday morning... I ran my second ever 1/2 marathon in 1:49:39.

(I guess I should tell you that I found your blog through a link on another blog, and I've been lurking here since your marathon this fall. You inspire me!)

Kristin said...

Oooo I don't think I would like to run in that for long...the snow that is, the jacket looks fab.

$180 tho?? Whew! Too much for my wallet.

I as well believe in that mantra, look good feel good...although I never look too good while running!

My curly/frizzy/insanely unmanageable hair is to blame for that.

tfh said...

I definitely should have read this post before writing mine. Then I could have plagiarized it better. ;) You are, after all, the one who is responsible for my love of Bondi bands. Speaking of bands, hope your IT is responding to all the stretching/exercises (and foam rolling? the Stick-ing? cats kneading?).

Viper said...

Confusing, you changed your name.

Capt. Obvious.