Monday, December 18, 2017

Encumbered Running

I read this to my writers' group last week. I'm thinking about including it in a book about running experiences I'm starting to work on. Why is it that anything about underwear tickles people's funny bones?

In early May, a young woman from the Boulder Daily Camera contacted me and  conducted a brief phone interview about my long-time participation in the Bolder Boulder 10k race, held on Memorial Day each spring. The event marks an unofficial start for the running season and attracts as many as 50,000 runners from all over the country. We had a pleasant visit and then she asked about a photo. I offered to send her one but she said the paper would send a photographer. I was a little surprised as I live 50-plus miles from Boulder.

We set a date for the photographer to be at my house at 7:30 a.m. I was to run my “normal route” and he would follow along and take pictures.

I decide to wear my new Bolder Boulder age-group champion shirt. It’s a little small and not too comfortable and it looks pretty bad without a bra. I never wear a bra when I run.

The day before the planned photo shoot, I learn that Go Lite, a company that makes great clothes is having a warehouse clearance sale. My 16-year-old granddaughter and I decide to check it out. We have a fun time looking through the racks of shirts, pants and underwear. She chooses an exercise bra. Hmm, I think.  Maybe I should “shape up” and have one of those.

I try one on. It’s tight—they all are. They’re supposed to be. That’s why I don’t like to wear them. “Okay. Get over it,” I tell myself.” I buy the bra.

The next morning I put it on under the Bolder Boulder shirt. As I do, I wonder if ‘m going to be able to run in this uncomfortable get-up. I get a little nervous waiting for the photographer. I go outside and sweep the porch. The fellow shows up. Seems friendly enough.

He tells me to start running and he jumps in his car to get ahead of me. He pops up a couple of blocks away and starts snapping. This goes on for four miles. Now and then I make some inane comment. He keeps on snapping, hopping in and out of his car. Once he surprises me from behind a bush.

Back at my house, he shoots me warming down, taking off my shoes, in my living room surrounded by my old running shoes and in my garden. By the time he’s finished, he’s shot more than 600 photos and my smile muscles are more tired than my legs.

The first thing I do after he leaves is take off damn bra. I take a deep breath.

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