More joy of socks

Today I ran ten miles, to prove that next week I’ll be able to survive running the half marathon. Things have changed: there’s been a lot of building work around the new National Stadium, which I should try to blame for slowing down on the second half of my run. Or not training properly for long distances all year.

Going from six kilometer runs to sixteen is a big jump, and that meant I was pretty exhausted. So I bought some socks.

There was a race kit collection in the mall over the street from the cafe where we had breakfast. (It was for the Pocari Sweat Run, which is perhaps the event with the least appealing name I’ve heard of this year.) Down the hallway from the registration area was a small stall set up by a sports shop, selling shoes and compression wear.

I’ve been very pleased with the 2XU compression sleeves, because although they look fairly ridiculous, they do make running more comfortable, even though they cover my calves and probably make me sweat even more. But they’re red, and that clashes with every pair of running shoes I own, and most of my running shirts.

Thus, when I saw a discount on 2XU compression socks, and more importantly blue 2XU compression socks, I got rather excited, as most of my running kit is already blue, and I’d stand a better chance of looking coordinated.

The salesman was adamant that I had small calves and should take the small size of socks. But my spade-like feet are big enough that the small socks might be fine for my calves, but they’d stand no chance of getting past my ankles. Instead, I chose the mediums, and then walked off, baby on my back, to a swimming lesson where she howled with incoherent rage for half an hour, and then we stayed out for the rest of the afternoon when I should have gone home and had a nap.

That meant I didn’t get a chance to put the socks on until about 8 this evening. They are very, very blue and very, very tight, to the point that getting them onto my feet is something of a struggle, let alone pulling them up to the top of my calves. Taking them off was almost as hard; as my thumbs bent backwards, I began to consider using a shoehorn to prise them off. So they’re tight, that much is clear.

Whether they work or not is harder to determine. I should have put them on earlier today if I was hoping for them to aid with recovery. Sitting around on the sofa in them doesn’t allow me to asses their comfort while running down the street, neither in terms of tightness or breathability. But I didn’t lose circulation or have my skin changed colour, so those are two good things. Tomorrow I’ll give them a proper shakedown (if I manage to get out of bed) by going for a 5k run at pace, and see if they confer herculean powers. Or should that be nikean swiftness?

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