You see some unusual things at any big or medium-sized race. I'm not talking about the runners who dress up in wacky costumes or, in the case of the Bay to Breakers, no clothes at all.
I mean the serious runners who outfit themselves with all types of what they hope are performance-enhancing gizmos. I'm guilty as charged, by the way. My family ribs me to no end about the visor I bought with built-in holders for gel packets.
And don't get my kids started on my Camelbak hydration vest -- essentially a singlet with a built-in fluid pouch. (Hey, I hate to carry water bottles, don't like fuel belts and always spill cups of water given at aid stations, so this is a viable option; I can control my own hydration schedule this way, too.)
So at Sunday's Clarksburg Run, I was heartened to see others with unusual get ups. DIY running aids date back to the dawn of running, but I have noticed that, in these recessionary times, more people are forgoing the expensive running doo-dads.
As I was nearing the starting line for the 20-miler, I approached a 50-something runner from behind. He was wearing a Buffalo Chips Running Club singlet, so I knew he had to be hard-core. But I noticed something affixed to one of his hamstrings. Could that be ... duct tape?
Curious, I asked the guy that very question: "Is that duct tape?"
"Yup," he said. "I've got some on my back, too."
"Do you use that instead of kinesio tape?" I asked
"Yes. It works."
"Much cheaper, too," I added.
Then, huddled near the start, I saw two runners wearing tube socks (with the toes scissored off) stretching from wrist to shoulder. Brilliant, I thought. They bought a pair of $5 socks at Target instead of spending $25 to $30 on fancy arm warmers. That way, in the early miles of a cold race, you can stay warm and then won't feel bad about shedding them on the roadside once you warm up.
But enough about you. What about me? Thanks so much for asking. My recovery run this morning went well. I actually felt pretty decent, so I'm hoping there are no ill effects from running 15 seconds per mile faster than I'd planned in Sunday's "training run" at Clarksburg.