I don’t wear running shorts. I wear compression shorts. Because my thighs need to be compressed. Like sausage.
I would like to wear running shorts someday. It’s one of my long-term goals. Very. Long-term. They say it is important to actually write your goals down. So here goes….
GOAL: To be able to wear running shorts without scaring small children or starting a brush fire.
I tried on running shorts a couple of months ago. It did not go well. Actually, it ruined a whole evening. It was “mommy’s night out,” I was going to get to go out all by myself and just be a grown-up. I mapped out my whole evening, I was going to go to Best Buy to buy new earphones for my tiny, practically fetal, ears. Then I was going to go to the bookstore and just hang out, read magazines without paying for them, and look at cookbooks. In between the earphones and the books I decided to stop at The Sports Authority to try on some running shorts.
I figured, “Hey, I’ve lost some weight, I’ve toned up a bit, I’ve run eight miles at once – whoever would have thought that was possible. I think it’s time. I’m probably not totally ready for running shorts, but let’s give it a go.”
So I head in and gather up a varied selection of running shorts, different brands, different styles. I’m a realist, I’m not grabbing ‘smalls’ or ‘mediums’ — I’ve got a fistful of ‘large’ running shorts. I get into the dressing room and put the first pair on.
It was bad.
And it didn’t help that the mirror and the lighting make the whole thing like a funhouse, distorting and distending the ripples in my thighs — making them even more horrific and emotionally devastating.
I should have stopped right then and just put the rest back, but now it’s like “NO, we’re not stopping, YOU. NEED. TO. SEE. THIS. You did this to us, now LOOK, LOOK AT IT!!!!”
Of course I start sweating, so that just makes everything so much better. Now I’m peeling things off and they’re just rolling themselves into little ropes around my thighs, cutting off the circulation to my brain – I’m getting dizzy. And putting them on is like getting into a wetsuit, it was awesome.
I’m borderline hysterical by the end of it. No, not really, just like totally deflated and defeated. I’m mumble-whining to myself like a baby, “I’m not going to the bookstore. I don’t ever need to eat again. I need to make food that tastes like crap so I don’t eat it.”
I could have just left my pile of shorts in the dressing room but I’m punishing myself now so I’m going to put them all back in the right spot. Yeah, that’ll show me!
Finally, I’m done, I go to the parking lot — just across the street is the bookstore so I try to pep myself back up to carrying on with mommy’s night out. “C’mon, you’ve made progress, it took a long time to grow your thighs together, it’s going to take a while to get two separate legs back. Actually, have you ever had two separate legs? Cuz I don’t remember that. Oh f–k it, let’s just go home.”
As I drove home I actually whined out loud, “I just wanna go home” like a four-year-old (I know this is how four-year-olds talk). I got home and got in bed and clutched my blanket and went to sleep.
This morning, at our group long run we had the option to buy running gear with our “team” logo. I did not buy running shorts. I did get a singlet, so I’m pretty excited about that.
The best news though was that I ran 4 miles in (close to) my target pace which, for the long run is my marathon pace +30 seconds, virtually pain free. I picked up an Ace ankle brace at Walgreen’s a few days ago because I noticed that the most aggravating things to my anterior tibialis tendon were walking around the house barefoot and driving — because in both activities you exaggerate the flexing of the foot up towards the shin — and the pain was right there at the top of the ankle. It was just a guess, but I thought that a little more support in that spot might help – since I really can’t stop walking or driving and I don’t want to wear shoes all the time since it is 100-frickin-degrees outside. I’m not running with the brace, I’m just wearing it during my everyday activities so that (hopefully) I don’t aggravate my tendon so much when I’m trying to rest. I think maybe it paid off a little today (that and all the other stuff I’m still doing: icing, the cream, stretching, resting). I felt a little “pinching” for the first mile, but even that was nowhere near the sharp, shooting pain I’ve been having and well before the turnaround point all that was left was just a dull ache, a little tightness. Cautiously, I’d say I appear to be on the mend. I’m going to wait a week or two before I try to add my fourth weekly run.