Monday, May 24, 2010

Anatomy of shopping for pants

Today was the nicest day of the long weekend so I'm glad I saved it for my long ride and T run. Still, it wasn't exactly warm. The weather page said it was 9 C (48 F) and was supposed to warm up to 14 or 15 C ( 59F). I was a bit torn about how much to wear. Last time, even though I was a bit cold at times I thought I had on too much. Today, maybe I had on too little. Shorts and a short sleeve tech shirt. As a concession to the possibility of being cold I took along arm warmers. I was the only person dressed that way. Everybody else I saw had on long sleeved shirts, and some had tights on. So if you see a blog talking about some lunatic on Monday riding in the freezing windy cold in shorts and a tech shirt on 22X, that was probably me. Still, for almost the entire ride I was just warm enough. I never even thought seriously about putting on the arm warmers. It sure made a difference about being in the sun or shade though.

The ride itself was great! Straight out 22X and back for about 74 K, plus a loop around the block to bring the ride up to 3 hrs exactly. 1:30 out, 1:20 back. Oddly enough the wind was from the SE to the NW, sort of an unusual direction so my time out was a bit faster than expected, but coming back was not as slow as I'd expected. All is good. My legs felt strong for the whole ride. The idea for today was to work on pedaling efficiency mostly in zone 2, with a bit in zone 3 on the way back. The timing of that worked out pretty good since it included the big curving hill up out of the Priddis Valley. I could have ridden much further.

This was the first ride of the year that I made up my energy drink for and thought about nutrition. Took two Clif's bars, including my fave flavour mint chocolate. I always save them for the last part of the ride. The little hit of mint is a great mental boost. Drank all but a mouthful of the drink, and had half a bar left. I didn't start on nutrition till the first hour was done, and by the end of the ride I was beginning to feel a bit full. My thinking is that since it wasn't hot I wasn't sweating, and since I wasn't pushing hard I wasn't burning so many calories. I even put on the rack to carry two extra water bottles. I figured if I didn't drink them it will do me good to push the extra 1.5 Kg around, and if I needed it for some reason I'd have it.

26 Kph Avg speed per bike computer, 25.7 per calculation
80 rpm Avg cadence
72 Kph max speed
77.5 K total ride distance
3:00:45 total ride time

2:45 transition then out for the 25 minute run. It took about 2 K to find my legs. My lungs were really working here, but my heart rate was good. During the last K I settled into what felt like a nice half IM pace and I could have run more. 3.1 K in 22 minutes, plus a bit more to bring up the time to 25 minutes. The last K was about 6:30 pace which felt good. The first two were slow. Walked and stretched after.

The brutal part of the day was shopping for pants. I've slimmed down enough that my jeans are all really baggy, and all need a belt. I know most of you think this is a good problem to have, but I hate shopping for clothes. Especially for pants! Still, this time worked out pretty well.

4:20 Penetrate the Eddie Bauer perimeter.
4:21 Find the jeans rack, proceed on to look for black business casual pants.
4:22 Find what I hope to be my size in black pants. Which bears no relationship to the size the tape measure on my body gives me.
4:24 Round up a clerk with a key to the change room. They tend to raise a fuss if you change in the store, but I don't give a rat's ass. All I want is to be out of there so if they won't let me into a locked change room (why lock an empty cubicle?) I'm just going to change pants in the middle of the store. I wear less in the pool, so why should anyone get worked up? Just another one of those mysteries of life that baffle me.
4:25 On the way into the change rooms there's a woman coming out to let her buddy look at her pants. More specifically given the way she was showing it off, to look at her ass. Heroically I managed to not say out loud that those pants in fact DID make her ass look fat but it wasn't their fault. Women are so unappreciative of the truth in some circumstances.
4:28 They fit, return to shelves to get another pair the same size. I figure if they are somehow a different size and don't fit when I get home I'll return them. Give them to the nice clerk and ask her to put them by the checkout for me.
4:29 At the jeans rack, pull out a pair I think are my size.
4:30 Back into the change room, in the very same room I'd cleverly left unlocked. The woman and her buddy are still checking out her ass. It's still fat.
4:33 They fit. Out. Pick up another pair the same size. Same logic. The woman and her buddy come out to look at the pants in store lighting. Still fat.
4:35 Pay and escape. Pants shopping done for another couple of years.

Actually, I pretty much hate shopping period. My preferred method is to make a list of the things I needed, and plan the most efficient route to get them. I don't want to look at anything else. I don't want to think about alternatives unless I have to. I'd prefer not to trample children and small adults (the impact would slow me down slightly) but my body language projects the path I'm taking and my willingness to walk through anyone in my way. I love what triathlon training has done for my walking speed. I don't want to hear about special offers. I don't want a sample. I don't have your special customer loyalty card and I don't want one. I'll smile and be polite to the store staff, but I'm clear this is a business conversation with a very limited time span. Store staff that are talking to each other will be interrupted mercilessly; they are there to make the customer happy and that's me. My credit card has "ask 4 photo ID" instead of a signature, and I expect to be asked to produce it. My fingers are on my drivers license ready to hand it over. Restaurant staff that ask get a bigger tip. I expect store staff to be competent at operating the modern equivalent of a cash register, to know what the store has and where it is. Exactly where it is and no lollygagging. I often amuse myself by telling them how much change to give back to me before the machine tells them how much it is. It's not that I'm fast at arithmetic, I'm not, I just know how to count change and give money to the customer. Almost every clerk gets it wrong, but it would slow me down to correct them.  Often I don't want a bag, and I don't want advertising flyers. If I want more details, or need assistance, I will ask. If you have more than 12 items in the fast checkout line in front of me, I will speak up.


  1. I wonder who hates shopping more - me or you! I hate it with a passion - unless it's a new bike or something - now that's the kind of shopping I love :)

  2. I'm just impressed that you went shopping at all. I just buy stuff for Walter and if it fits, fine. If not, I take it back. If I didn't do this, he'd probably still be wearing clothes from 10 years fact, I suspect some things are that old.

    BTW...the high here yesterday was 64F (18C). I'd have worn short sleeves on a run.

  3. Shopping CAN be a pain in the a$$. Especially when it is in the city -- my God, when I went to the Costco in Calgary, it was jammed pack, wall-to-wall people. Nothing like the breezy, open aisles at the Lethbridge Costco.

    Same as one weekend I went into Bow Cycle to get some Nuun. It was crammed full of people -- I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I hate wasting time whilst shopping -- more accurately, I hate people who waste my time whilst I'm trying to shop....

    Congrats on the new pant size!! :) :)

  4. eeek! YOU broke my calculator. i saw your bike speed and went to convert it from goofy metric to more sensible imperial and my calculator is busted. zero now shows up as 8 and and i get an E rather than an 8 when i really do want an 8. i tell you metric is just not safe.

    < SPAM >
    hey, and i am now a half ironman! but am struggling with what to eat while doing the event. nothing sits all that well, if you have any tips - i would love to hear them. and sorry if i am spamming everyone - just need some help!
    < /SPAM >

  5. mmmmm, ya. i have no sympathy. and i now hate you for fitting the first pair of pants you tried on. (just teasing, i don't hate you, but i'm definitely jealous) seriously, with this bodacious bootie, i have take no less than 12 pairs of pants to try on per store, per visit. they are various shapes and styles. none ever fit. so i pick the best and then take it to a tailor where i pay an extra $30 to have the waist taken in. this way they look ok. but not good. it sucks. sigh... thank goodness for lululemon - at least they have one pair of pants i know fits, lol.

  6. Men shopping for pants? Completely different to how many women do it. Or me at least. Hilarious post Keith!!


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