Monday, January 16, 2012


In elementary school we learned that January was named after the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and endings.  He is literally two-faced at once looking both backward and forward.  Thus, it seems like a good time to look forward to this year, while looking back at how 2011 went.

2011 was a year of experimentation with my triathlons:  new bike, new hydration and nutrition strategies and at the end of the year a new coach.  I competed in six races and placed in 4 of them, a new record, and I got to go to the Age Group National Championship (but damn, those girls were fast).  That's the good news.  Though clearly the run was still a struggle.  In AGNC, Mooseman and Mass State, I dogged the run.  From my other races, it seems that I can run a good race.  I just have to make it to the end with the endurance to run.  So that's the big goal for this year, getting that balance right.  And breaking 2:40 at an olympic.

Also, injury free.  The shin update is that I stopped running just before new years, to allow for some more healing time.  I've also been treating it like it's a stress fracture, just in case.  Going to see the specialist in another week or so.  Right now it's completely pain-free, so that's progress.

And now a look back at what really matters:  the schwag.  This year's race t-shirt round up has had some surprising results.

As I said last year, what makes a good race t-shirt for me is:  1) size 2) something I'm not afraid to be seen in public wearing and 3) material.

This year, I didn't have a clear favorite, partially due to a disturbing trend.  My race t-shirts have gotten fatter.  Many races are offering extra-small t-shirts, which I wholeheartedly support, but those t-shirts are getting wider.  Check out this comparison of 2011's Lobsterman t-shirt under 2009's Lobsterman t-shirt: 

The same size shirt from the same race has gotten much bigger.  Check out the AGNC shirt.  It is wider at its waist than it is in the shoulders:

That's not foreshortening:

I guess the upside is if I ever fall pregnant I won't need to shop for workout shirts.

In the most improved category, I give you the Jingle Bell 5K.  You'll recall that last year, this race has the worst shirt of the season.  This year, they had extra-smalls, and though the logo is somewhat misleading (Somerville in December is not the island paradise depicted), this is a huge improvement over last year's barren warehouse district illustration.

Finally, the coveted worst shirt of 2011.  This honor goes to the Devil's Chase 6.66 miler.  This was such a fun race, but the shirt was disastrous.  It was so bad that I have already sent it on to greener pastures, so I don't have my own photos of it.  First, the cut was bizarre, the small arrived roughly at my knees with arms so wide I could wear them as tights.  Here's two women in the shirt at the race: 

[photo credit tdavid12]

Second, the logo is a naked, muscley devil, who is just managing to conceal himself while running. It's just awkward.

There you have it.  2012 is looking to be a huge year:  planning a wedding, starting a new job and going back to AGNC, just to name a few.  Looking forward to it.

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