A new level of preposterousness

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Back in 1999, I went on a date with the little person who would ultimately become my wife. I’d seen her at a wedding months earlier, but lacked the courage to approach. Ultimately, we were sorta set up, and I walked into a Spanish restaurant called Ole with decent confidence.

I was also wearing a baggy black T-shirt (given to me—used—by my ex-girlfriend’s step father), a houndstooth vest (Marshall’s—$12) and jeans. Afterward, when Catherine griped to her friend of my wardrobe, she was reassured that, “You can always change how a man dresses.”

Ah, words.

Catherine likes telling that story, because the unspoken punchline is I remain a pretty sloppy dresser. I mean, I’m improved (right, Earl?). But I’ll never be sweaters and collared shirts and slacks and …

I digress.

Two days ago I ran the OC Half Marathon alongside my 11-year-old son, Emmett. An event photographer sent off proofs today, hoping participants will order. Here’s one of mine …

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I texted the image to Catherine a while back, and she immediately called to laugh at me. Not with me. At. Which is, obviously, fair. But I can explain. So I will …

• The head wrap: I hadn’t planned on wearing this. In fact, I brought along a red bandana that I usually wrap around my skull to avoid sun burn while simultaneously absorbing sweat. Alas, I forgot to take it from the car. I was, however, sporting a 3/4-sleeved Jack Daniel’s shirt that I bought from Wal-Mart, oh, five years ago. I’d actually planned on tossing the garment into the trash once the race began. Instead, I turned it into this classy looking head piece.

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• The pink arm thing: That’s to hold my iPhone. Throughout the past year I’d been running either without the phone or simply with it in my hand. Then my stupid phone broke and I upgraded to the iPhone 8 Plus. Which is big and annoying. So—the band. And pink because pink is cool.

• The baggy white shorts: Um, yeah. Not terrific. So beneath that circus tent is a normal pair of black running shorts. I wore the white in the morning just to have pockets, and I planned to take them off before the race. Then Emmett handed me his running stuff—gels and little sucking candies. “Don’t you have a pocket?” I said.



Try running 13.1 miles in those shorts without looking the fool. I dare you.

• The compression sock thing: It’s neon green. I bought it years ago because I tend to have poor circulation in my legs. But here’s the rub—I haven’t struggled with said issue in a while. So why did I don the green? I … have … no … idea. It’s inane.

• I’m also wearing two different colored socks: This is just pure laziness.

• GSB Sun: The one thing I dig is the shirt. Or, put different, I’m a shirt loyalist. This one I bought in the late 1990s at an Oakland thrift shop. At the time it had sleeves, and dried-up blood by one of the letters. That struck me as sorta cool. I also have no remote idea what, exactly, GSB Sun means. But I’ve now word this as a marathon/half-marathon shirt myriad times.

So … hey.

1 thought on “A new level of preposterousness”

  1. This summer construction begins on the “finest track and field facility in the world”
    It will replace historic Hayward Field.
    If you have never been to a meet in Eugene try to come while the old facilities still stand.
    I was awestruck before Prefontaine was ever even in high school.

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