After participating in numerous running events from fun runs to a marathon to a triathlon, I’ve gained a large collection of participant shirts. Some are nice technical running shirts. Others are scratchy, ugly-colored, and over-sized shirts that I dare never wear in public or even at home.
The majority of the shirts I have received are gender neutral, so even if I order a small it’s still huge on me and the sleeves go down past my finger tips and extra smalls were not available. Also, many of them are of a certain athletic material that I dare not try to run in because it’s so uncomfortable. Those shirts either sit on the bottom of my workout shelf covered by the shirts I do wear or I throw them on over my chlorine covered swim gear after a swim session.
One of my favorite participant shirts was from the Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon in 2012. It was my third half marathon and because it was women’s only the sizing was women’s specific. Yes, you heard me, women’s specific! So it actually fit me! This
is was my go to shirt to wear over my tanks at the beginning of my runs. It was my favorite. It fit perfectly. It was a high quality technical material. It was comfortable. And now it’s missing.
I narrowed it down to three places it could be hiding. 1) I left in Chicago at the Dana Hotel. I worked out at the gym hotel and afterwards put all my sweaty workout clothes in a locker while in the steam room. I thought I grabbed everything out of the locker but maybe I left it or dropped it in the hallway while going to my room. But I don’t remember if I even wore that tech shirt or another one. 2) I left it at LA Fitness. Since the weather has been less than ideal, I’ve been running on the treadmill for 99.9% of my training runs. After a mile warmup, I remove my long sleeved run shirt and use it to cover the treadmill mileage and also as a towel to wipe away sweat. I either put it back on right away or I take it with me and put it back on after the sauna. I’m always cold when I exit the sauna and immediately put my shirt back on, so I can’t imagine having left it at the gym. That’s just not my style. 3) I left it in the fitness room in my apartment building. Again I usually wear it for my first mile and then either cover the numbers on the treadmill or throw it on the ground so Carson can lay on it if he’s in the fitness room with me. So I could have easily been distracted by Carson after my run and left it the fitness room.
Being the detective that I am, I looked in the fitness room in our building – not there. I looked in the lost and found in the laundry room of our building. This consists of two large trash bags – the first bag had dried clothes and it wasn’t in there. The second bag was filled with wet smelly clothes that had been left in the washers. I couldn’t bring myself to look through that bag – it smelled too bad. I even asked the managers of my building if they had seen it. On a whim I called the yoga studio across the street and checked the lost and found at the yoga studio in Broadripple. Still missing. I asked Bryan to check the LA Fitness lost and found and he said it was just random stuff, no clothes. So I’ve narrowed it down to I left it in Chicago or it’s in the smelly wet clothes lost and found bag in my building.
Bryan told me to forget about it – it’s just a shirt. Yes, it is just a shirt, but it’s my shirt and it has meaning to me. Yes, I didn’t train for that half marathon, I just ran it for fun, but I still put down 13.1 miles and I want the shirt to remember it by. I have a medal, but it’s not like I’m going to wear the medal around that’s why I
have had my shirt. Not to mention, it’s the one that fit me the best and was the most comfortable. Why couldn’t I have lost one of the ugly ones that is too big and that I never wear?! It’s been over a week now that I’ve noticed it missing, and it’s probably long gone but I want it back. It serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come as a runner and how far I still have to go.
As I was reading my latest Runner’s World magazine this evening I came across an article that hits the nail on the head, “They may not look great or even fit well, but race shirts tell an important story.” It’s like Runner’s World knew I was on the search for my missing shirt and wrote this article to let me know that I’m not crazy for not wanting to let go of it because it does tell a story – my story.