Saturday, April 9, 2011

Yeah, I'm *that* girl.

OK, so first things first. Whoever said running is an inexpensive hobby is a damned liar and should be taken out behind the building and slapped around. I guess it is if you are intelligent, but if you trip enough times (like I do) then eventually you will fall and hit the Stupid Tree (like I apparenly did). Some people go after speed, some after distance, either way, it's going to cost you. Ask my Umstead crew about all the crap I brought that weekend. Little do they know how much was left at home... 

Anyway. 'Tis the season for REI dividend checks, and the accompanying "20% Off One Item" coupon. You could tell it was the last weekend for the coupon - REI looked like Toys R Us on Black Friday tonight. I went in after a camp chair. I don't have one, and I look like a dork showing up with a lopsided rusty beach chair to some of these events (ie, Hinson Lake last year). I did the math and my coupon plus dividend check would score me a nice chair, plus a Clif bar or two for next weekend.

As I parked, I started thinking about Umstead (I know, shocker). Part of what did me in was the cold, and there wasn't enough clothes in my box o'goodies to fix that problem. It is spring now, and maybe the winter stuff would be on sale... So I headed for the clearance racks. I was muddling over some North Face (OMG I've gone granola snob) down jackets thinking about how I do at some point need to acquire a winter coat (I don't actually own one) if I plan to continue bouncing around in the woods on Horton adventures (not for the race itself but before and after). I was trying one on and a very nice sales assistant came over and asked me what I was looking for. I told her I needed to find a heavy layer to keep warm, that last weekend I was the coldest I had possibly ever been in my life and it sucked. Of course, she asked where I was, and replied, "The Umstead 100." A few more exchanges go on - she was a volunteer at the tent on the airport spur during the afternoon. I remembered her, and said so. Apparently I seemed vaguely familiar to her, so I said, "The kilt. I was the one with the kilt." Guess the fame extends past the runners.  :)

It was hysterical. She said something about totally remembering seeing me that day (I think she ticked my number on two laps, actually) and we went on talking about how chilly it got and how flat-out frigid it got overnight. It was awesome - she completely got what I was after and I am now the happy owner of a synthetic down jacket that weighs all of maybe 6 ounces, but will trap heat even if wet, and will take layers over and under. Yay!

I still got my camp chair. And my Clif bars, too. And actually, the jacket is made by REI, so I guess I failed at being a granola snob. Bummer. I've still got my eye on that heavy down coat though.

Only 5 months till registration opens...

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