Saturday, March 19, 2011

[25] Cherry Blossom Mafia Princess

Part of my race ritual is planning for my trips in advance. Color me crazy, but I love planning, making lists, and color coding... everything.

Fuse Sports Complex, Tottori City, Japan 2008
My circle of runners are recreational. We we jog. We chat. We run when we feel like it. At race expos, we hunt for the free stuff and buy little trinkets. Lately, I've been hearing a lot on talk about compression apparel, but I do not know any runners who regularly use them. Many of the student athletes I work with use compression sleeves while they play sports, but I haven't really had the chance to discuss its effectiveness with them. After reading The Killer Inside (Runner's World; April 2011), my curiosity has been piqued.

While at Westchester Road Runner the other day, I picked through the compression wear section. There was lots and lots of black, but I craved color. Luckily, I came across the Zensah Leg Compression Sleeves! They had seven colors, including a nice spring pink! One of my biggest health concerns as a runner (and athlete in general) is shin splints. When I play volleyball and tennis, I often have to ice after an intense workout. Reading up on the technical aspects of the leg sleeves, I was relieved to know that I made a smart investment. While running, my lower legs are a point of contention. In the Nike Half, I had calf cramping around miles eight through ten which resulted in some loss time for stretching (and several awkward days of walking afterward).

According to the event page, the anticipated race day weather will be in the 40s-50s, meaning I will need layers to keep me warm. At Christmas, Santa stuffed a pair of Sugoi Tatu Arm Warmers into my stockings. I have only had the chance to wear them once because it was far too warm in Florida when I ran last month. The start time will be 8:40AM, so it will give the sun a chance to burn off some of the morning chill. I can work up a decent sweat with a 5K, so I want to have just the essentials warm and not have to fight with removing layers.

Now comes time for the big reveal: "Mafia Princess in D.C." Though George Washington is famed for chopping down pop's cherry tree and not lying about it, for me cherry blossoms remind me of Japan. It was the first place I saw them, and I have countless wonderful memories (and photos) of them. While at The Fit for a Princess Expo, I bought my first running skirt and its matching long sleeved zip top. I'll pair them with my pink leg sleeves and Tatu sleeves and wear the white technical t-shirt from the Princess Half, too. In Japan, individuals who with ink are often associated (whether they like it or not) with the Japanese mafia, so pairing my 'Tatus' with my black & princess princess duds, gives you the general idea. I am thinking about what to do with my hair, too. Since I've layered it, my options are limited, but I can still do nubby pony or pig tails. I am thinking I may need a funky hair band or some flowers to clip in my hair. 

All that is left to sort out is socks and sports bra. My tried and true nude Freya Active Sports Bra which I wore at San Fran, is sadly too loose now, and the elastic in my white Champion sports bra is completely shot. Time to invest in new ones anyway. It's recommended to replace sports bras every six months, and both of my lighter ones are past the one year mark (and the sizes are now wrong).

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