Compression Socks and Stranger Danger

I caved into the blog-pressure and got excited about the idea of compression socks.

If it's good enough for two of America's best female marathoners...then I'm sold. But I don't like running in speedos, so maybe Desi has it right on running gear...

I think there is a 50-50 split on whether these things are legit are totally placebo.

After CIM, a time when my quads and calves burned up more than any other body part, I thought why not give these sock things a try if they are supposed to help circulation....or....what are they supposed to do?  Help with recovery?

Well right before Christmas I spotted a Groupon-type deal, two compression socks from here for $35 dollars, maybe it was $40.  Either way it was about half off.

I said "xmas please" to my personal Santa (mom) and promptly received the Groupon.  Then I had to order them, and they arrived last week.


I didn't go out in public like this, no worries.  (oh wait...I actually think I did go food shopping in this outfit, with boots added)

I had been worried about buying a size "small" because my calves are fantastically large.  So large, in fact, that in my life I have been asked if I am a) a dancer b) a gymnast and c) a fitness instructor, because of my shapely calves.  It was also noted by the big man on campus in high school, a literally big basketball player, that my calves were bigger than his.  Fuck you, puny calf boy.*

Anyway.  I ordered the smalls.  On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most difficult), they were a 4 in terms of difficulty to get on.  4 is also a button up shirt when your hands are cold.  8 is tying your shoelaces in the middle of a soccer game when your hands are numb.  10 is Spanx.

Immediately I was concerned about how not-tight they were.

Then when I went on a run in them, I realized the horrible truth.

They were just socks.  $35 socks.  My calves could not have cared less, except for how nice it was to not have to soap my calves down after a run (I always end up with dirt on my inner calves.  You?)

*speaking of inappropriate things that people say to me without any solicitation, I want to briefly reveal to you that during my 3-5 runs each week around my neighborhood lake (Lake Merritt), I get talked to about 80% of the time.


1) There is this one guy who walk/runs around the lake almost every day.  I usually only see him on the weekends because he is out between, oh say, 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  He might not be all....there in the head.  I say this because whenever we cross each other while running, he stretches his arms out like he is an airplane and skips towards me, waving, and sometimes shouts things like "fast!"  At first he freaked me out, but after 3 years of rendezvous around the lake with him, I know his name is Robert, and he loves running unconditionally, and I smile and give him a thumbs up and go extra fast for him.

2) There are a few separate guys who walk in the weekday mornings and give me encouragement every time I run by.  "How many laps are you on!? Looking goooood girl. Go Kristen!" (Kristen's not my name, but at least one guy thinks it is).

3) Then there are the groups of 4-5 men who walk every morning between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m., they appear to be retired, wearing windbreakers or other sweatsuit outfits straight out of the 1980's.  They might smile but it's hard for me to acknowledge them because there are at least 5 groups of guys like this, and I'm embarrassed that I can't tell the groups apart, so I don't know who knows me and who doesn't.  But today, one group brought me to a halt.  "Hey -- hey! Are you on your second lap!?"

"yup.  I'll be starting my third soon."

"What?! Second lap?! We were all talking about how fast you are going!?  You must be under 30?  Are you a distance runner?  You've lost weight, you look like you've lost weight?"

That is what it sounds like when 5 guys ask questions at the same time.  All I got out was ", I've always looked like this", and then I ran on my merry way wondering which one of my extremities looked like it belonged to a weight-watchers graduate.  What in the balls?

4) And sometimes I just run into Merilee with her daughter.  Merilee caught this photo of her daughter, and me running around the lake in the background.

She's so lucky to grow up near this awesome neighborhood!

In conclusion AND in summary, most running encounters are very encouraging and friendly, and generally make me think that people in Oakland aren't used to seeing a white girl run hard.  Don't they know that Magdalena Lewy Boulet lives here?

Now onto my awesome football-less weekend.

If you live in the bay area, you may want to get thee to Commonwealth in Oakland.

Picture porn to show you why:

My curry egg-salad sandwich with mango chutney

Our shared "scotch" egg -- coated in sausage and crumbs

The Gentleman's shepard pie

Oh just the best scone I've ever had, with jam and clotted cream


Seriously great
Oh and I also got this trout salad.  I ate a lot.

After the above brunch, I managed to do something YOU have likely never accomplished: I bought two dresses while on a hike (see: above picture of me in compression socks for one of the dresses).

We walked about 8 miles round-trip to a mall in Emeryville so I could stop at See's candy, and to enjoy the beautiful day.  We popped into at Target to use a bathroom on our way to Emeryville...and...I walked out with two dresses for under $50.  I have more dresses than underwear.  Literally.  too much.

My...umm...See's candy stash.  Listen listen, See's doesn't sell stuff ANYWHERE but their stores, so when I'm at a store, I stock up.  I'm smart, not a hoarder.

Compression socks: Gimmick, or love it?

What's the most ridiculous thing a stranger has said to you while on a run?

Do you wanna come hang out and help me with my See's candy stash?