Monday, November 9, 2009

My Heart On My Sleeve

(Author's notes:I wrote this in March, with the intention of posting on April 1, but I didn't complete the "photo-journalism" part in time. Though tongue in cheek, there is really no "fooling", as this is all true. I post it for today because this gloomy Monday needs a little levity.)

The Sleeve Story
I have been running for 20 years or so, but as a recent convert to the world of ultra-running, I've been introduced to a whole new arena of running gear. There are hydration systems, electrolyte products, trail shoes, gaiters, GPS watches, and compression socks. But the product that fascinates me the most are Moeben Running Sleeves.

Leg warmers are a fashion relic of the 80's, and a complete faux-pas in the modern era. But arm warmers... well, arm warmers are sky-rocketing in popularity; they are all the rage. Racing in a sports bra (or singlet) and tiny shorts used to be the way to announce yourself as hard core, but these days you'd better be donning sleeves, too, if you want people to take notice. Stud Vibes just ooze from those nylon tubes. The sleeves shout: "I am hip! I am fast! and I am cool! - at least in my own mind!"

But beyond fashion, these sleeves are functional. One no longer has to make gut-wrenching critical decisions like "Should I wear a short sleeve shirt or a long sleeve shirt on my run today?" Nope, just take off in the short sleeve shirt - with your running sleeves, of course - and adjust as necessary! Save your brain power for other pressing dilemmas, like 'How will my training log be complete if my GPS loses signal?' or 'What should I use to wipe if nature calls in the woods?' Plus, each sleeve is equipped with a micro-pocket, which gives the ultra-runner a chance to employ those under-utilized bicept muscles for carrying extra gear. You could even stuff toilet paper in the pockets and you've just solved one of the above conundrums!

I would love to have a pair of sleeves, but with a price tag in excess of $30, it is an expense that is hard to justify. I mean, none of my running shirts cost that much and that was for the whole shirt, not just the sleeves. And there are already some pretty big expenses associated with running ultras, like buying shoes every 6 weeks, paying for entries, traveling to races, and getting marriage counseling.

So, like the well known Screw Shoes, I have come up with a budget friendly home solution. All you need is a pair of knee high socks and some scissors. Cut off each foot, and voila! - You have sleeves! If you are feeling especially wild, use argyle socks! I like to call the ensuing creation the Ben-mo'e Sleeves, because they've "been mo'e" than just sleeves, indeed, mine were my soccer socks for two seasons in the Portland adult league! Sadly, my soccer career had to end (due to complete lack of talent), but my socks have risen to new glory!
Everything you need for a budget friendly pair of arm warmers.

And my Ben-mo'e Sleeves aren't just reserved for running. They've helped me out of a pickle at work, too. You see, every day I have to look professional in a 65 degree environment. This seems to be a comfortable temperature for men with their high metabolic rates and middle aged women with their doughy insulation and hot-flashes, but for a skinny ultra-chick, these conditions are downright arctic! By wearing the sleeves as an extra layer, I can stay warm and look professional, too - a win/win situation!
Looking professional...
...while staying warm!

And so I encourage you to go out and get some sleeves. And if you can't afford the real ones, make your own!

1 comment:

crowther said...

I've got to admit it: "Ben-mo'e" is a brilliant name for your sleeves!