Friday on the track. Which is still open.
It’s just me and the Fast Guy Who Runs in Lane 9. As running companions go, he’s OK. Mile repeats, blue Gatorade and Rockstar combo during the breaks. Tattoos on both calves, though I can’t figure out what they are and it’s considered impolite in some circles to poke your head up close enough to another person’s bottom half to get a clear view.
It’s another hot day, as it will be for the next 150 runs, so shut up and quit whining. I have thrown in the towel and brought a water bottle. Although it’s just water, and now I have no towel. I wonder what mixing blue Gatorade and Rockstar in a bottle would taste like? I suppose it wouldn’t matter, since living organisms seem to be growing in this bottle. Who knew Tailwind had a life of its own?
As I shuffle through my 13:45s and he continues to fly by me, I notice something weird. He’s wearing orange wristbands. On his ankles.
I’ve seen many unusual things. I knew a guy who ran 100 miles wearing a cotton sheet on Memorial Day. A woman sold baseball caps with a large compartment on top to place ice. I’ve run a summer in a Day-Glo Orange Lightweight Alpaca Racing Beanie. But wristbands on the ankles? Got me.
I assume I’m hallucinating the first time I see them, another byproduct of high-90 delusions. But apter repeated glimpses, they’re definitely not socks. There’s clearly a space between the orange things and the orange other things.
What could this be? I’m on day 2 of wearing nothing but a strategically placed sock to cope with the heat, so I can’t fathom wearing something that hot on an extremity.
Maybe to keep sweat from going into his shoes? I don’t get it. Seems like most of the sweat forms inside the shoe, and not from above. Are ankles even sweaty? Maybe a weird Mustkrat-like cult that requires wearing such things in an effort to kill the contestants? Like that Alpaca Racing Beanie thing made sense. Or maybe he just really likes orange.
Beats me. He finishes. I finish. I shoot a photo of his butt. I go home to rally for another day of driving through striking teachers downtown. I wholeheartedly support more pay for such a deserving group, but let’s leave Van Buren Street out of it, eh?
Ankle sweatbands. Rockstar/Blue Gatorade Cocktails. Calf tats. Mile repeats in Lane 9. The future of running is taking place on my track, one innovation at a time. Nike Oregon Science Project has nothing on us …