Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hidden Secrets - Shhh, Don't Tell!!

Whenever I start a new race training cycle, I'm energetic and eager to get out there and run! But, boy, when those long run days come up on the schedule, and the distances start their relentless march toward higher and higher mileage, I find that my training needs a shot in the arm. For me, one sure-fire way to do this is to buy a new running outfit or a new pair of running shoes.

I have a confession to make, though. No...make that two confessions, actually. The first is my addiction to cute running clothes. I rationalize my purchases by convincing myself that my running tops and bras have gotten irreversibly sweat-stained and yellowed and my running socks have grown dingy and a little threadbare at the heels. I even imagine that my running shorts have picked up a funk and grubbiness about them. I take to athletic gear stores and websites like a duck to water. I have one dresser drawer devoted just to running clothes. If there's still room in the drawer...time to shop. If the drawer is full...put the credit card away. If the drawer is stuffed so full it won't close...time to weed out those items that are past their prime.

But the fact is, it doesn't matter how adorable I think my running outfit looks when I step out the door, running is a sweaty and smelly and sometimes muddy activity. I've come to accept this fact, knowing that how good I look at the end of a run will be inversely proportional to how many miles I've covered, and the further into my half-marathon training program I get, the greater this truism becomes. It reaches a point when only my cat will get close to me.

This morning, after running 8 miles, I was feeling decidedly un-ladylike with my dripping hair and sweat-soaked armpits. I've come up with my own secret way of feeling feminine on the inside, even when I'm looking gross on the outside.

So here's my second confession: I love red toenails!

There's just something about having brightly painted toes secretly tucked inside of those utilitarian running shoes! When I'm at my grossest and sweatiest, peeling off my wet socks and seeing those gay toes reminds me that I'm a woman. Sort of like wearing an especially feminine and lacy bra under a heavy, flannel shirt.

It's my little secret. Shhh! Don't tell!

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