Saturday, August 06, 2005

30 races!

(Give or take, depending on the thoroughness of my record-keeping.)

When I first started running, a friend told me he always saves his racing bibs and writes his time, the weather, whom he ran with, etc. on the backs of them. He said it's a great way to track your running progress and know what factors may have contributed to especially good or bad finish times. So I started doing it too.

And today, when I finally got around to recording the notes on the backs of my bibs from races in (ahem) late June and early July, I got out all my bibs (at least the ones I hadn't lost) and spread them out to see how many I had.

And it made a perfect rectangle!
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Look at all the pretty colors! They almost make the shin splints and tendonitis and nagging pain worth it. Pretty ... colors ...

As I was looking for a good (read: fast) example of backer notes to take a picture of and post here, I discovered that I had NOT, in fact, accomplished much in the name of timing progress over the last 10 years of running. While I was making progress in distance (a 5K to a marathon in 10 years), my times have constantly hovered in the 8.5-to-9.5-minute-mile range. And my gooey hips have remained vigilantly, defiantly gooey. So I can at least claim consistency.
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Little-known fact for those of you who don't run: When you pick up your bib and your race packet the day before a race, you always get four complimentary saftey pins. FOUR. Because three would seem cheap and five would be too showy. I've often wondered what lucky fuckers get stuck counting out sets of four safety pins to dump into thousands of race packets in the days before a race, and how fulfilling they must find their volunteering activities to be.

In any case, I have this strange compulsion to save EVERY safety pin I've ever received. And I sometimes clip them into little four-safety-pin sets that—if you squint really hard and drink a bottle of perfume first—kinda look like cute little metallic sheep. Or guppies. Or afghan hounds. Or ... um ... wow—I just realized how pathetic my safety-pin collection and I must look right now.

Then again, what animal-loving softie couldn't resist this adorable tableau of a mommy safety-pin guppy leading her five safety-pin guplets on a little swim across a shiny sea floor:
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And people tell me I need a hobby.

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