I, literally, just walked in the door from running. I am sitting in my desk chair in my soaking wet running shorts, dripping sweat onto the keyboard.
I woke up later than I wanted to today to get out and run - I was hoping to get in a longer run, but because I got up late and Virginia was already cranking up the heat and humidity (seriously, Virginia, fuck you, man, you make it so hard to run), I settled on just doing 6.
Lots and lots of runners were out this morning on the Mt. Vernon trail, all glistening with sweat, and I was thrilled - it's fun to be out there with so many people, most looking like they are training for something, conjuring a nice communal-motivational-type feeling. I am on my way back home when some dude passes me, and then slows down right in front of me. So I pull up alongslide of him, and as I go to pass him, he starts talking to me, asking me how many miles I'm out for and what I'm training for.
I tell him the Baltimore half-marathon, and he says he's run it a couple times - the first 3 miles are a gentle uphill slope, the last two miles are downhill into the harbor, there's lots of hills in between, and be prepared for the bottleneck towards the finish. This is totally helpful! I am so glad I am pacing with this dude! He's training for the marine corp. half-marathon and then a marathon after that.
So, right after he informs me of this, he says, "You know, I don't really get women running in sports bras. I mean, I get it, I just don't think it's necessary." I suppose we passed a woman running without a shirt and I hadn't even noticed.
Now, Readers, let me tell you something - I had been watching all those women running in just their sports bras today green with envy. I WISH I was brave enough to run without a shirt, because it is so motherfucking hot out, and your shirt gets soaked and clings to you in annoying ways, and I would love to get over the absurd feeling that if I expose the world to the little strip of my belly between my shorts and my sports bra its fattiness and hideousness will cause other runners to become terribly nauseous and in fact have to veer wildly off the trail into the bushes to escape the heinousness of my flesh. I am afraid to offend the universe by removing my shirt (none of this is an exaggeration, sadly). But I so desperately wish I could (remove my shirt, not offend the universe. I understand logically that removing my shirt will not lead to the gods taking offense).
But this is how the conversation goes, verbatim:
Me: What, I don't understand. Women shouldn't run with their shirts off?
Him: No, it's just immodest.
Me: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's hot out!
Him: Hey, a little modesty never hurt anyone.
Me: You must be fucking joking. Women get stoned to death in some countries for not meeting someone else's idea of modesty.
Him: . . .
Him (trying again): I just don't think it's necessary.
Me: So, my teeny strip of stomach, if exposed, will drive you so insane you will be unable to continue to run?
Him: I'm not saying I can't handle it, I just think it's too much.
Me: I'm sorry you have such a weak constitution and can't see with bodies without sexualizing them - must be hard to manage in the world. My little strip of stomach and I are going to TAKE THIS OTHER PATH NOW.
And I ran off.
Seriously, people, SIGH.