At this point, the training is fairly routine. Not necessarily pleasant, as it is still challenging and forces all of us to reach pretty deep of course, but the rest of the group could be taking pity on me and pretending that it is more challenging than it actually is. However, from the looks on their faces and pools of sweat at their feet, my bet is that they aren’t faking.
So with the training scheduled and solid, our focus must now turn to shopping. For many, this may be the most exciting part of the whole endeavor. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of shopping. I’m known to go into a store with a specific item in mind and, if I can’t find the item and get it to the check out counter in a specific period of time, I will drop everything in my hands and go racing out of the store. Fear of commitment? Unlikely. More like sensory overload—just too many products flying at me all at once. Personally, I’m a big fan of Internet shopping as it truly surgical. It is shopping with a spear. Need a can of pineapple chunks? Run a search, order it and you’re done. No distraction from the toothpaste at the checkout counter. Also, I am reminded of one individual I read about who was so disgusted by the commercialism of the IronMan that he competed at Kona in sweats and old ratty sneakers—he even went so far as to bicycle 110 miles barefoot on a fixed gear bike. He had a wicker basket on the front handlebars and had filled the basket with ice so that he could stick his feet in every so often during the race. Not practical maybe, but it definitely speaks to going too far in terms of buying into race gear. So I want to be very strategic and make my shopping decisions before I ever even begin my search for the products themselves.
The big question is what will I be asked to do and what will that dictate in terms of wardrobe? Mud seems to be a word that comes up again and again. But I keep telling myself, this is CitiField. They can’t overturn the entire Mets’ infield and create a giant bog. Major league baseball wouldn’t stand for it. Still, I have to bet that there will be a lot of water and as much mud as they can muster. So the idea of heading out to the Field in anything cotton is out. That’s just an opportunity to come home as one big chafed mess. It has to be some kind of material that wicks. It also has to be something that I’m willing to toss out at the end of the ordeal as it’s going to be pretty messed up. Then I’ll need gloves, as there will no doubt be ropes to shimmy and walls to vault. Again, I have to look for something that would not be adversely affected by water. Also, padding would be great. I am not high maintenance, but I want to come out of this with as much skin in tact as possible. Lastly, footwear. Sneakers are probably out. If there is water, I don’t want anything that is going to soak up the water and get heavy. Trail running shoes would probably be best, as they are heavy enough to take the punishment and they will have soles that can grip when necessary. The most important thing about the shoes is that I get them ASAP so that I can break them in during the weeks before the race…nothing worse than crawling through the mud under barbed wire with blisters on your heels.
So now I can get shopping from my desk chair and refocus on today’s workout.