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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sunglasses are so cool... or are they?

There was a time in my life when I never left the house without my sunglasses. We certainly get enough sunny days here in SoCal to justify that habit. When it comes to riding the bike around my habits haven't changed all that much. Sometimes on those early weekend morning group rides it's hard to remember every little detail for preparation when sleep is still lingering: coffee(!), breakfast, pump tires, sunscreen, lube(!), arm sleeves(and/or etc. to weather), snacks, electrolyted water, cash, credit card, lip balm(!)... and let's see... helmet(!)... I know I'm still forgetting something... Ah! Sunglasses! I did forget my sunglasses on a ride recently. It felt very strange. Almost like one of those dreams where you've forgotten to wear pants to school... I must have been very tired that morning! As a result my eyes were watering for much of the ride from all that wind that they're not accustomed to. 

On long, hot, sunny running days, too, I've found that sunglasses can be very helpful - partly for their light dimming effects, but perhaps more for the psychological swaddling. Never heard of that? That's because we don't like to admit that we're essentially hiding behind those sunglasses a lot of the time. I mean, it's fashion, really. We all do it. Dress a certain way to fulfill a certain look. Ever seen a security guard wearing a pink Hello Kitty hoodie? 

Or as the Mule would suggest: wear blinders. Block every distraction out. Pull that cap down low. Ignore your sleepiness, your hangover, your fatigue, your knee tweak... get that run done! 

But what about those days when you don't desperately need those blinders? Running, as we all know, generates heat. And I'll take any little bit of cooling I can get. In an attempt to capture these marginal gains of cooling I've recently been running without a hat and without sunglasses. The hat and sunglasses keep the sun off but they also block wind and trap heat. So find a shadier route to run and and allow yourself to be a little more exposed... and a little cooler.