It's sad that I have been watching RuPaul's Drag Race for three seasons now, and only yesterday did I finally get the joke. Charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent are the qualities they look for in a drag queen. Let me spell that out for you. Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent.
There are times when I am slow on the uptake. They're rare, but they're there.
Anyhow. Yesterday was the Fanconi Anemia 5K/8K/12K run. If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that the Fanconia Anemia 5K was my very first race back in February 2009. Last year I did their inaugural 8K. This year was their first year for a 12K and I really wanted to do it, but I knew I would not be in shape. And I was right.
I just was not feeling this run, and in reading other blogs that seems to be going around. Must be the alignment of the planets or something (insert Uranus joke here). I don't know if I didn't fuel or hydrate properly but I had nothing in the tank. In that spot where you reach down to push through the wall was just a big gaping hole. I was running with my friend Jules for most of the race. We were in the 12s for most of that, then I had to drop back. I had nothing to draw on and my left hip was aching again. I was just starting to feel like I was getting my second wind when I tripped over a buckle in the sidewalk and almost took a header. Good news was, my left hip started to feel better after that. Bad news was, I jammed my toe and my right hip started to hurt. Stupid tree roots. I limped for a bit until I got back to the waterfront, watching Jules pull farther and farther away (yay Jules -- you did a great race!). Official time for me: 1:10:39. The 8K winner finished in 28 minutes flat. That's just way too much overachievement in my book.
I tested some new equipment for this race.* First up was a hand-held water bottle. Made by Amphipod, it holds 20 oz. and has a neoprene cover. Pros: The cover was nice. My hands didn't freeze and the cover sucked up any sweat. Cons: The spout is very tight and hard to open. The bottle is made to carry in your right hand but I carried it in my left because I simply could not open it otherwise. Doing it that way, there was only one time when I couldn't get it open right away. The zippered pouch is also very small and hard to access the zipper. It's really hard when you're carrying the bottle in your left hand, because the zipper is designed to go on the inside (so that you can unzip it with the other hand). It says you can fit a phone and keys in there. No, you can not. It would have fit my keys (all two of them). I put my chapstick in there because I usually don't need it during a run. Two gels would fit, maybe up to four if you stuffed them in there.
I was also trying an Amphipod belt that had bib attachments plus a removable pouch for other stuff. Pros: Once I figured out how it all worked, this was excellent. I loved not needing safety pins and the bib didn't get in my way. I could have taken off my outer layer without worrying about my bib, had I wanted to. I also didn't crush my bib like I usually do when I use the porta potty. The waistband was snug and didn't shift. I knew I had something around my waist, but it wasn't uncomfortable. More like, you know you're wearing a bra because of the slight pressure around your ribcage but it's not bothersome. The back of the pouch was felted, so it stayed put and didn't shift either. And the pouch expanded to a great size: it easily fit my driver's license and a credit card, some cash, my Droid, and my keys (car key, house key and a keyless entry fob), and there was still room for more. And because the pouch was felted on the back, it sucked up my sweat and I didn't end up with wet money. I think I paid $18 for this. I would have paid up to $25 and still felt like it was a bargain.
I also got a different Amphipod belt with a pouch where the pouch is much smaller, not felted, with no bib hooks and the belt sucks. I'm returning this one without even taking it for a test run.
Lastly, I found these cool wrist gaiters by Marmot at REI. I'd never seen these before:
They are designed for men. Maybe they have them for women too, but I couldn't find another pair anywhere in REI. Which was a shame to a certain extent because the pair I found had a small hold in the wrist. I think they were marked at $20, I ended up getting 10% off as a consequence. These are fabulous. I've never liked the shirts that have thumb holes because they're always uncomfortable for me where they hook over the thumbs; I guess I have long arms or something and my arm motion results in tugging on the thumb holes. With these? Never an issue. Plus my hands didn't get as hot as they do with normal gloves. I ended pulling one off at one point in the race when they got too hot -- the other one was under my Garmin, another bonus because my Garmin didn't irritate my wrist as it usually does, nor did it twist around and come unstrapped -- but only for a few minutes. And I could use my iPod, etc., without having to pull off a whole glove. They easily tucked under my waist belt when I wasn't wearing them. I'm almost thinking about getting another pair to wear in the car; your hands don't slide off the steering wheel, you can push the buttons on the car radio, answer or do whatever on your touch screen phone, everything. The tops of the gaiters would come to about my first knuckle if I wanted extra warmth.
So, there is my exciting race report and gear review. I guess I was more excited by the gear than the race. It's fun to try stuff out!
Happy VD everyone!
*I bought this stuff myself. So there. But feel free, marketing people, to send me stuff I don't have to pay for.