Does My Body Look Strange to You?

The Marathon Jacket. Every year, Adidas and the B.A.A. (that’s Boston Athletic Association, for you people who somehow aren’t Boston Marathon aficionados) comes out with a new official Boston Marathon jacket, which is an awesome, hard-earned thing.

Sure, they can be spotted at outlets after the race, but does it really count to wear it if you haven’t crossed the finish line? For many runners I know, the answer is a resounding, “No!” I’m thinking back to my old friend and running partner Tom, who tried and tried but kept missing the qualifying time by 58 seconds (I’m not kidding — 58 seconds, less than a minute). This is a guy who did speedwork, who had a running coach, who was fast and fit and worked hard.

“But I just want the jacket!” he moaned, only half-kidding, after one of his last attempts when we were still running together. It was unspoken: You can’t wear the jacket if you don’t run the race.

I loved it last year — a glorious orange, with blue details. This year it’s a bold purple, with orange details. I like it. I’ve asked around about the best course of action; apparently they sell out of some stores before the race, and other stores get them off the racks pretty fast after Patriot’s Day (when the storied race is run, for those of you who somehow don’t know this). For logistical reasons, I need to buy mine before the race, but I’ll keep the tags on and won’t wear it until after I cross that finish line (and I will probably be crying when I do, because that’s what I seem to do these days when I race, and also I was downtown today near the finish line and got all teary-eyed telling the kids that I’d be crossing it about a month from now; running-wise I’m kind of an emotional mess these days).

But I wanted to try it on, at least, so we popped into Marathon Sports near the finish line and I grabbed a women’s medium, because I’m a women’s medium in almost all things.

Tight shoulders. What? The rest fit perfectly, but the shoulders! Couldn’t move my arms. I tried a large. “That’s way too big on you!” called my husband from across the store.

I tried a men’s medium. Enormous and long. A jacket-dress! I tried a men’s small. Excellent…except tight in the hips. WHAT???

I’m not sure if I have abnormally wide shoulders or a huge butt or what, but I think my proportions are pretty normal. Is the jacket sizing always like this? What do medium-sized women runners with bigger shoulders (i.e., I do burpees and push-ups sometimes) do? What’s my size in this jacket?

I’m going to figure out it, because I cannot WAIT to wear it.

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